Posts Tagged ‘resurrection’

First You Need Ashes – A Personal Story of (Joy-filled) Resurrection

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2012

On the day after Christmas, I went to work and, after working 2 hours of a 6 hour shift, I was called into the new manager’s office and told I was being suspended, for stealing. It would be another 2 days before I got the confirmation that I was ‘termed’  (or, as I thought of it, ‘released’), but something told me that, no matter what, I wouldn’t be back. So after a moment of stunned panic/shock/anger, I went into action: I put everything from my locker into a bag, nearly danced out to my car, rolled down the windows, and sang my way home. (One of the tunes was ‘Riders on the Storm.’) I was thrilled to be absolutely free, for a few days at least, to do anything I wanted to do, and I immediately went into my studio where I quickly created a new line of fiber art. (See my Fiber DreamScapes at: *****) I did have this niggling little thought: How long will this last before ‘reality’ sets in? The universe began to answer this ‘prayer’ in a very interesting way.

Right around Thanksgiving, my solid, grounded 5 year-old cat companion, Clive, went missing, leaving a huge hole in my heart, my house, my life. On New Year’s Eve day, just 5 days after my suspension, two friends independently contacted me to say I should get to the Humane Society, because they were having a ‘sale.’ With just 2 hours to spare, I got to the H.S. and started looking for a cat like Clive. It took 3 times through before I spotted one of the last remaining kittens, a 3.5 month old black (my favorite) cat named Trip. And he has been a trip, as we now share this journey together. The first night we were together he initiated a game of fetch which lasted for an hour; his latest game is hide and pounce. Whenever I begin to feel scared or down, his enthusiasm for life, ebullience, energy, excitement, ecstasy remind me that I have a choice, and I keep choosing joy.

And as I do, the universe continues to respond: a quilt was accepted in Grovewood Gallery (which has quit taking quilts); I have several shows (some juried) scheduled; I have three speaking engagements scheduled; I am in an artist studio tour; and my signature ‘pieced/quilted labyrinths’ are to be featured in a national quilt magazine in June. Where will it all end? Nowhere, I hope, because I am living in heaven.

But I want to go back and tie up a loose end: the fact that I was suspended, and then ‘termed,’ for stealing. I have been vindicated in this matter but, since I do think about life metaphorically, I wondered and chewed on this for a while. “Have I been stealing?”€ I wondered. And the answer finally came to me that, yes, I had been stealing. . .from myself. By staying in a toxic environment, out of fear, I was stealing life energy and creativity from myself. Though it took a nudge, I stepped out into the void and energy literally flooded back into me; I am happier, healthier, and lighter now than I have been in years.

I’d like to close with this, the last stanza, from Robert Bly’s poem, Stealing Sugar from the Castle:

“You’re a thief!” the judge said. – let’s see
Your hands! –  I showed my callused hands in court.
My sentence was a thousand years of joy.