VOF Week 4: (Wild Ophelia)
Much of my life thus far seems to have been spent in hearing, honoring and expressing my own voice in the world. As a young girl, I remember imagination being a fabulous companion to wonderful adventures. I crafted worlds, within and without, in which to play, express, create, commune, explore, dictate and rule! But along the way, perhaps due to family patterns, cultural biases, religious dogma, I became cut off from my best friend, the “wild and imaginative Ophelia” within, who possessed the wisdom, knowing and power to create a world she dreamed and desired.
And like so many, I began to live a rather ordinary life in the real world according to the orders and operations of the times into which I was born. For me, the separation from my own voice – authentic, creative and sacred – didn’t happen all at once. I just took my place in the concrete jungle, doing my job and paying my bills, running the gambit of relationships, molding myself to the 3x5 card of social dictates, while slowly starving on cold soul. Perhaps it was the too-tight-smiles of many compromises and a few white-knuckle surrenders that landed me on skinned knees, until I could no longer ignore the screaming, scared, yet sacred girl within who still wanted to live.
Even now, after years of reestablishing a friendship with the smart, sometimes sassy feminine self, I find it easy to lose step with her. As an artist, performer, occasional writer, it seems I have many opportunities (for which I am grateful) to voice who I am out in the world; and yet I have learned once again to satisfy others – managers, associates, audiences, critics as part of the cogs of an industry and yet another job. I find myself posing; and then rebelling, scrapping things like to-do lists and agenda notes in favor of sacred moments with my dog (in sweet irony, a big alpha male), my grandsons, meditation, the company of fine friends, and singing jazz. More and more, I want to improvise my life outside the set meter and predictable melodies of such things as five and ten-year plans. If I stay too long in the tick-tock world, I begin to hunger for more imaginative beats.
My personal vision is to live more and more in the moments, honoring the impulse, finding the juice, following a different drummer. I think in connecting ourselves to sacred voice within – those fiery inner urgings of the heart tempered by the fullness of our life experience and humanity – we in turn can offer our best selves to our communities and to the world. It is my belief that there may be nothing better that we can truly give. To live in those places of personal authenticity as they are revealed, to share the story and the view from wherever that is, maybe heaven, sometimes hell, would be my highest vision or aspiration.
Happening onto the World Pulse website and reading about the “Voices of Our Future” program, I felt an unexpected pull. With my experience and background, creative projects of many kinds appeal to me, but this was a stronger beckoning – one connected to the deep respect I have for the sacred feminine in all of us, and Divine Feminine presence. I was delighted to find that the last assignment was so entitled, a subject near and dear to my heart. I know firsthand the transformative power of women in collective work and feel the planet could use a healthy (balancing) reminder of values such as community, relationship, nurture, connection, circle of life responsibilities and planet sustainability. I think writing and corresponding on behalf of WorldPulse would be one way in which I could add my voice to the chorus of women (and men) dreaming a new world into existence. That would be a sacred honor and duty, in my opinion. And in so doing, perhaps I could also be a friend to other women along a creative path who are heeding their own “wild Ophelia,” and finding their true voice.