Straight to the Heart

“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.”

  Cochise (“Like Ironweed”), Chiricahua Chief

Tonight was the final show at Ghost Ranch for the January Term.  All of the students presented their work and spoke about their process.  There were photographers, potters, writers, poets, beaders and archeologists.  Even though some of the kids were less than enthusiastic about the idea of being on a ranch for three weeks and all of the restrictions that it implies, they came together and were incredibly proud and creative in their final work.

They spoke straight and with great clarity, each one of them exposing their shared vulnerability.  The space was safe enough for each one of them to step into their own voice and share it.  Even if it was just for a moment, and their fear and uncertainty returns, they will remember what that freedom felt like.  They can call on it when they are in need of courage and strength for what the future may hold.  

I am walking away from this experience knowing that I have not only deepened my skills but have also found a place within me that needed to speak straight.  Not just to others in my life, but to myself.  My Life IS my Art.  Everything I do, everything I am deserves that level of light – the sunlight that goes straight to the heart.  

The Heart of the Matter

There are areas in our lives that only the heart can give counsel.  A perfect example of this for me is my love affair with clay.  Every damn time I let my head rule my heart it ends in a broken heart and sometimes broken pottery.  It is so easy to convince myself to create inside a box of conformity – to make only what sells or would appeal to a mass audience.  Now, let me tell you, I can make a strong case for that.  I could talk about money, bills, obligations and dog food.  I could make my heart believe that it doesn’t know what it wants to create by restricting it to live by all of the rules set forth by my mind. Talking down to it, trivializing its desires and generally making it feel less than worthy.

But here’s the deal……….when I allow my head to make decisions for an area that only my heart has mastery, it works out about as well as going to my accountant for a cold.  Realizing that each part of us has expertise for certain areas of our life is a profound wisdom.  My heart can handle matters of the heart beautifully; if I listen carefully, my body can tell me exactly what it needs; my nervous system can tell me when to take a break and my mind can do the budget.  All seamlessly, with complete clarity, if only I honor their expertise.

And when I truly let go and let clay have her way……..well that’s a magic carpet rideā¤