There’s a way of living in rhythm with the sacred,
where all that goes on is a dance of meaning and relationship.
Where everything that happens, is all just the steps in the dance.
Where it’s not about good or bad
“Should I worry?”
where it’s not about being okay or not okay
“is it going to be okay?”
where it’s not about a judgement about what will happen next
“what does this mean?”
the gentle curious participation in the dance itself.
Meaning isn’t an assessment about what happens,
meaning is the movement of unfolding
Meaning is the movement of story itself.
Here’s what I mean.
Here’s part 2 of the pas-de-deux.
the story of the story
The original story
was a tale
of a chicken and a snake
and a dog
and a woman
in a circle of consequence
At the heart, a little one died
and a mother was bereaved.
Taking the story as a message
does not mean taking it personally.
For example, here are some ways one could take it
which miss the message.
We’ve gotta do something about that terrible snake!
I feel so guilty, I feel so sad, look at that poor hen, I want to wail in grief for her, I feel so guilty, I must be such a horrible person that this happened! Am I okay?”
Claiming guilt is a projection
and projecting pain is an illusion.
Guilt and projection are simply distractions into drama.
(And drama is the surest way to miss the message.)
That’s gotta be a bad omen, right?
Should I worry?”
It is neither good nor bad.
Nor is it even an omen.
It is a message and an invitation.
It doesn’t “mean” anything in that sense of it.
Meaning isn’t an assessment of what happened,
or what will happen.
The meaning to be made
is the message to be heard
and the message to be heard
is that the dance itself is going on
below the surface of apparent events.
invited into the dance.
The meaning itself is the message
the message itself is the invitation
the invitation itself is the dance.
Another way to miss the message
is to look too closely,
in a psychological kind of way,
at decoding it.
“Am I the hen? Is something precious to me being killed?”
“Am I the snake? Am I killing something?”
“Am I the other hens? Am I rejecting something lonely and vulnerable?”
“Am I the missing rooster? Not there to protect what should be protected?”
“Am I the dog? Am I an unpredictable threat?”
Any or all of those may in fact be accurate,
and even useful things to see.
The psychological dimensions are not untrue,
but they are irrelevant to the larger message.
The whole of the story is a message,
the tale which the story itself tells.
And the tale must be told
to understand into the message
to catch into the rhythm
to join into the dance.
What are the themes of the story told whole?
predator and prey
death and transformation
fierce and intimate life at the edge of darkness
and the circles and cycles of care
under the shadows
of motherhood failed
and motherhood lost.
How does the story end?
but the steps are not the dance itself.
The dance itself
It simply makes use of what is there
what is needful.
How then, join into the dance?
How receive the message and accept the invitation?
Always choose to welcome.
Not in a pollyannish way, where everything is by definition “good”.
There is no good or bad.
life-shatteringly painful to receive.
In those times
to call it “good” is an oversimplification at best
and a soul-searing insult at worst.
In those times
fear, rage, and grief
cannot be diminished or dismissed,
they can only be moved through in their own time
and their own storying unfoldment,
and only in and through that movement, transformed.)
Welcome it anyway.
When we choose
against the fear, the rage, the grief,
we stop the dance.
Choose welcome. Choose the transformative dance.
The universe always tends towards growth
the universe always flows.
We can move in alliance with that growth and that flow,
We can say yes
or we can say no.
(Free will is inexorable.)
Yes tends towards evolution. Increased complexity. Life.
No tends towards devolution. Increased entropy. Death.
are always a mix of both.
Some things are dying,
relinquishing down into ashes.
Other things are being born,
sparking up in fire and blood.
Pain is inescapable.
So is joy.
Be fierce with both your pain and your joy.
Choose into the flow.
Let it break you,
let it make you,
let it dance you
into and through
Welcome to the chick
welcome to the snake
welcome to the dog
welcome to the death
welcome to the life
welcome to the fierce and intimate transformation
welcome to the whole of the story.
Listen with care
so you can hear
the rhythm and the message
instead of the noise.
Listen with discernment
so you can know
the meaning and the dance
instead of the drama.
Extend your circles and cycles of care
extend an invitation
to those in your charge.
Don’t go for the lure of the drama
don’t go for the distractions of the details.
Extend your care
extend your arms
extend your healing
extend your love
in an invitation
to dance into the rhythm
to join into the dance.
My love is not for the chickens
as cherished as they are to me.
My love is not for the snake
as joyfully as I take up that challenge.
My love is not for the chicken-killing neighbor’s dog
(nor even for my own old and beloved dog,
whose presence whispers behind these posts
as his fierce and intimate life nears the edge of his own darkness…)
My love is for you.
sitting there in front of your computer
opening to the web beyond,
reading this story
and storying this reading,
and thinking about those beloved who are in your charge,
an invitation to those beloved who are in mine.
Why story this tell?
why dance this tale?
For the sake of inviting you into the meaning
for the sake of dancing you into the rhythm
for the sake of
of receiving you into the message
of welcoming you into the transformation
of joining you into
dying and living
For the heart of storying you into the dance.
Like the snake shedding its skin
the rhythm of transformation continues.
just like in the story itself
we are safe
in fierce and intimate life
on the edge of darkness.
That’s the message.
That’s the story of the story.
That’s the storying dance.