to loose myself in the song…..only to find…myself in the rhythm.
Life has a silent rhythm. If you could see it written with crayon in the sky, that thin line may rise and fall in a beautiful arch, it may begin from a faint dot and then unravel to a sweeping curve, with a curly flourish at its peak. Perhaps it would follow a gentle bump and floating motion, in a wave pattern…like a journeying beach ball. It could circle for a while, like a spoon stirring, thickening sauce. Rise and fall like a breath. There exists not just one rhythm..many occur, in years, days, minutes. One thing is for sure…when they start, clarity of directional movement is not offered. The rise offers no definition of the flourish.
When I took the chair at the front and looked back at the rows of people, some grappling with stringy, errant cheese from their slices of free pizza, some just sitting, faces lit up from streaming media emitting from iphones and ipads, I, for once, didn’t wonder if I ‘should’ be there. Whether I was hip, knowledgable or good enough, I just knew I was glad I was.
For those that follow my life’s rythmn, you will see the unfolding line that I’m walking. The finding of me…now opening to the flow of finding my tribe. For so long, I wanted my tribe to be YOU. EVERYONE. But not everyone has found themselves reflected in me.
When I was younger, I found no outlet for me. Somehow, over time, being me, marvelling in me, sharing me, was not encouraged. The taste left in my mouth was that expression of self was…. indulgent. UGLY. So I snipped back the shoot, level with the soil, to stop it growing any taller, and sat quietly in the dark. Instead I sought expression in others….in art, pituresque vistas, books…or the patient surfer..waiting for his wave. Until the threat of the life under the soil, shrivelling to nothing preciptated the move upwards. Towards the light.
I started writing. When people asked me ‘what do you do’, I replied…’I am a writer’. At first a voice in my head said ‘you are a fraud’, but I kept on saying it. More importantly, kept on doing it. All the while still hoping, fighting the feet that would trample me (mostly my own), that I’d find my tribe. Finally, I was learning to feel comfortable in my skin.
Last night, at Storify HQ, where a MeetUp group gathered, I think I finally walked into my neighbourhood….
and things began to sharpen in focus.
This man…Jonathon Harris is the architect of the ‘village’ that is www.cowbird.com I think I am home. I listened to him, as he told the crowd how he traversed the planet…playing with his life. Stretching, moving, moulding, changing, adapting to bring Cowbird to life. He stood there, silhouetted by pictures of his life, places he’d lived, people he’d met, everything that touched his heart and he ‘shared’. A deep sense of his self. Not the advertising agency version of him but all of his love, angst, uncertainty, beauty and his rhythm. I thought, I don’t find him ‘indulgent’, ‘too deep’ or ‘weird’ for his offering of transparancy. I thought, instead, is this what we are all searching for? Even if we don’t yet know it. Expression of self.
This is why I love San Francisco. People. Cultures who still love to express themselves..weave stories and do. Life hands us a key to open up door to ourselves and let the light flood in.
Jonathon showed slides of the Occupy Movement and those that seek to be heard, to bring change. A story of a girl who was fighting for ‘life’ and her own ‘self’ as she mourned the loss of a loved one. I felt tears fall also as I listened to an American guy talk of his falling in love, with what he saw as a face of perfection, on the internet. He told how he acutally came to be with the girl who had captured his heart and then, how he had failed to believe that he could be that happy…and so it faded away in his disbelief.
The narrator, Scott, speaking like he was sitting in a room, just sharing with his friends. Isn’t that what we all should see or know ourselves to be? Why have we lost our culture in the West of storytelling? This was once our way of learning, connecting, our ‘therapy’. A means to feel. To know ourselves and to understand others with greater capacity. Facebook and Twitter can be hollow experiences. Perhaps Cowbird is a way, an opening for us all to allow ourselves, and each other to tell the story of the rythmn of our lives. The narrator of the story of Angelicque, Scott, was mesmerizing. His soft voice had a way of peeling back the silky folds of the tighened bud of my heart. My journey is following the clues to my life that seems to bring me to wholeness. Something, that lays in the tones and rythmns of a particular American accent, seems to call me back here again and again. I find me here.
I’d like to think I’ll have the courage to be part of Cowbird. It is an aspiration. For now, I wanted to show it to you. I wanted to take your hand and pull you over to the patch of sunlight I just found. Perhaps you are already basking in the sun. Hopefully, I will soon be standing among the flowerbed.