July 26th, 2009:
How to summarize and express what I've learned over the course of my life? In the past weeks, this question has emerged in a couple of ways. First, I decided that I wanted to create a video for my memorial service where I would have a chance to speak to everyone present. This impulse told me that I want a memorial service. You can be sure that will be organized and presented in due time. Also, I realized that I am aware of what some of my core life work has been, and I'd like to talk about that. I'm not saying that I have a total wrap on all my life's purpose, but there are major themes that I certainly haven't been conscious of for most of my life. Now I can see those themes clearly, and I'm moved by their intentions and their results. This has been a lifetime of considerable growth for me. I say that with humility and gratitude.
So tomorrow afternoon, my friend Beth who is a filmmaker will come over to my apartment and look around for places to shoot the video. I'd like the resulting CD to include a tour through this apartment that has been such a supportive home for the past 16 years of my life. It's a beautiful place, and I have loved nurturing the energy here. There will be a stroll through the rooms and leading to the living room overlooking the park. Plan is to sit somewhere close to the window and deliver what I want to say. After the CD is played at my memorial service there will be copies available; a final giving and taking.
For the past three weeks, I've been drafting the script. Typically, I write narrative text, and that's very different from the spoken word. The first time I took an early draft out of the printer and tried to read it aloud, it was laughable. The words did not sound spoken, they were written words on the page for the page. Back to the draft. But underlying getting the sound right for a spoken recording, there was the more important matter of content. How do I express what I've learned in this life? Which events best carry the weight of how I learned my lessons? What were the pivots that made change possible? How did my heart crack open so that I could love? What's so exciting about these questions is that now I know many of the answers. I've lived them. I can remember them. So I've written out the basic architecture of my transformations. Now I'm refining the details of how my life's learnings have altered me. This information is simply available. What a gift!
The other direction of expression involves my godson Willem. In conversation with his Mom, Kris, she asked me to consider putting together something for Willem to have, some guide, some thoughts from me to him about...well, that's still an open question. What do I want to say to my godson who I won't be present for in mortal form? What can I say now that will have value in his future? In the second week of August, I plan to travel to Portland to see Willem. At that time I'll be with him, his parents and his godmother Christine. My plan is to do astrological readings that focus on Willem, but include input from the chart energy of his parents and godparents. Still, as much as I love reading astrological charts, the request to develop something for Willem remains just below the surface of my conscious mind. I feel like it's not time to go there yet. Might be my inner job manager wanting me to finish one project--the memorial service video--before starting off in another direction. I accept that.
What's fascinating to me is the clarity of these projects. The memorial service CD is simply writing itself. True, I take time to weigh in with considerations about sound, presentation and using the medium of delivery. But the content is quite available. We'll see if it's the same with the gift that emerges for Willem. In the time that I have in the immediate future, it's fascinating to feel this need for legacy emerge. Over the ages, people have taken such extraordinary flights with the legacy urge: monuments both grotesque and grand, eye contact at a time after speech has failed, a decision to withhold stories because they are too painful to relate. Many, many responses to the yearning to summarize and say, "This happened to me. This is what I've learned." For all of my life, I have received the gifts from the candy store of personal wisdom. I've absorbed what others have learned with some context of why and how they learned it. Now, it's my turn to add to this repository.