Updated: Oct 6, 2021
In this episode I define negative and share what it means to move around in time and space within one's idea of life.
Different Ways #03 Life in Negative Space, Part one
I had no idea where to go next with this odd-ee-oh book trajectory. None. So, I finally just grounded and centered and surrendered to whatever happened next. With the book in my hand, I just opened it somewhere...anywhere. I mean who cares, right? It really doesn’t matter. It opened to page 186 which is amid the Life in Negative Space chapter. It is a long chapter, and I will break it up into sections as I don’t want these posts to go too long.
First, I need to define what I mean in this book about negative. I find myself evolving around the connotations of words realizing they often carry different meanings. The language we use is so limited, and it is made worse by what words unconsciously imply to people. Negative, dark, left, shadow, shade, black... and all the ways these words are used to manipulate what and how we are interpreting things. When I am speaking of negative, I am speaking about energy; as in, positive and negative energetic polarities which scientifically require each other to produce movement... in this dimension, anyway. When earlier in the book I refer to Grotowski's negative movement, I am referring to the opposite direction of habitual thought regarding moving the body. I’m not suggesting a bad move. So, to frame it a bit clearer one could call this chapter Life in an Oppositional Flow...I chose negative in the chapter title as I did because the process I go through in this chapter has a lot to do with what I took away from my experience in the beehive with Grotowski in chapter one in allowing my heart to untangle from my mind and my assumptions about what I was feeling. Negative space is the moment one is completely at the will of gravity and expectation...then one overrides by choosing and deciding. So with that in mind, here is Chapter 25, Life in Negative Space, Part One, pages 181-186. Thank you for listening.
Different Ways , Chapter 25, pp. 181-186
I'm noticing now in reading this aloud that the story lunges past some realities I experienced then and somewhat betrays the depth of my feelings and the breadth of my ineptness at the time. At THAT time I was not given to philosophy except in my most private thoughts. To keep things in perspective, I didn't even know what the word existential meant then.
The turmoil I initially experienced was very much under the surface of everything I did in the years afterward. It was there because it triggered a deep need in me to grow into what I experienced. There was nothing to compare it to. The experience had invited me to explore something that I interpreted it as a threat and I didn't reach an understanding of that until years later. Still, it became a cornerstone of my life in a profound way. The fact that it happened all within my imagination made it a difficult relationship to own, let alone understand and cultivate. I felt, to keep my feelings sacred, I had to bury my mental process around the entire thing and there it incubated. It wasn't until many years later that I began to identify the inner male/female polarities I was dealing with.
Things happen in a life and mostly they are absorbed by further experiences and this one did to a degree. A few years after, I made friends with artists. My son moved out into his own place. I met another man and in an act of defiance, I attempted an intimate relationship. Like many of the men I knew in my life, he too was kind and he helped me through a lot of difficult challenges. I had a bankruptcy to face, I quit smoking, gained 30 pounds and developed a chronic disease as a result from the nicotine withdrawal, to name a few. He went through all of that beside me. The awkwardness I felt trying to nurture a relationship was a sad state of affairs, however. I kept feeding the poor guy until he blew up and became terribly overweight. Hello! I like you. Here let me give you my eating disorder!
I had no business trying to do what I was doing but...there you have it. I had developed a churning discomfort. I was out of ideas and I couldn't seem to "get the hell out of Dodge" no matter how hard I tried. I broke the relationship off in desperation and you've never seen anyone so relieved as he was! I'm laughing now but at the time I wondered, "WTF ? You were miserable, too?" I was clueless.
Music: I picked this beautiful song because my life did eventually merge back into my own lane and my focus expanded into a scope of encompassing my ancestors, other lives, healing, alchemy and transmutation. As the reality of the situation seeped in at that time, however, I felt I actually did, on some level know how it was going to end and it was not going to end well if I pursued it. The sweep of feeling like I experienced - in the way that I experienced it - forced me to realize it was all internal and I would have to do it all myself. I was on my own. I felt devastated.
And you know there's a place in the sun
~Devotchka, How It Ends
Thank you for joining me in this romp. The memoir Different Ways: Revealing the Feminine can be purchased through my website using a link to Village Books at AlltheDifferentWays.com. There is also an eBook version available at Amazon.
The blogpost that outlines my intentions for this series of readings from my book, Different Ways, Revealing the Feminine can be found here on the post, Between the Lines.