Feeling a bit Clark Kentish . . .

birds and berries resized

I’ve been so immersed in our lands, construction, gardening that I feel as close to my roots as I can get. I’m living on a chunk of land near where my father was raised—where my grandmother used to plant a beautiful garden and make creamy garden stew for all of us. Ten acres over is the house my father built and my parents finished raising their family. My brother and his family live there now.

I’ve been thinking about self-perception and the part it plays in our lives. Lately I feel a bit Clark Kentish—living my life as an ordinary country girl and every once in awhile I don my costume and fly off into constellation work, public speaking, being a good mind and voice for important issues. I can’t seem to decide which is the real me. I know in my core that the real me cannot be changed or improved upon. I’m still the dreamy little girl I once was, totally in love with the forests, lakes, rivers, lands. Almost all of my fiction takes me back to her. All of my current life takes me back to her. Yesterday I sat on my butt in the blueberry garden picking my first real crop. The sun, the breezes, even the bugs all felt like lively little spirits surrounding me, protecting me.

I think that my desire to teach, to learn, to reach out to others, to offer workshops and write stories is also connected to her, but sometimes it feels like a pretend self, a make-believe me that is fading away. I worry about this. As intensely as I feel this earth beneath me, I feel an equal urge to express it all somehow and to invite others to feel their lives just as richly. I would be sad if that public part of me retreated into a hole in the earth like the pocket gopher who lives in my garden.

Milt reminds me that I am like this every year at this time—the earth takes all of my energy. In tribal societies, this was always the case. Summer was for gathering and tending to the earth–and winter was for storytelling, games, connecting. I know he is right and that the urge to write and teach will return with the fall, but it all seems so far away right now. I have my pretty little learning center sitting there in Bemidji, and I wonder what will happen there. I have workshops scheduled for fall in the cities, in South Dakota and other places, and I know that part of me will once again don her cape and fly off to do the workshops, but wow—she is not much on my mind right now.

Even as I write this in this exploratory way, I realize that I care more for the writer in me, for stories unfinished, characters waiting for my return, than I do about workshops and trying to “sell” places in a workshop or training. I dislike that part of what I do, and I am not very good at it. Milt says it is because I don’t have enough “ego”. I think it is more complicated. I grow weary of people wanting the quick fix with no real commitment to learning to live an authentic and purposeful life. This morning I was reading an article by an NLP trainer, and he was talking about what it really takes to learn to use the powerful tools of NLP effectively. The techniques and strategies can go into the brain pretty quickly (maybe) but the application of that learning takes a lifetime to learn to use. The same is true with constellation work. I can’t do a weekend workshop and give anybody any real depth–it becomes a kind of fast-food of the mind. And I really don’t have enough ego to ask people to spend a year or two (and ten thousand dollars) to really learn to fully apply the learning that I’ve spent 30 years acquiring to their own lives and their work with other people.

Alas . . . what to do.

Somewhere deep in my computer files is an old man named Simon who is master of the storyboard game. He has lived many lives and has many stories to tell . . . Still Mountain, Silver, Sulee, all people and places connected to him and his game.

I wonder how Simon is doing? When the leaves begin to drop and the sun lowers in the sky, I think I’ll pay him a long visit.

I’m happy that I have a commitment to writing this blog every week. It keeps me putting words on paper, words on paper even when the Sun is blistering above me, the tomatoes are ripening, and the baby robins have flown off to find their own lives.  Do join me on this journey by subscribing below, and do help me grow this blog by sharing my stories and thoughts with others.

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Feeling a bit Clark Kentish . . . — 3 Comments

  1. I love this post. I am always amazed that you can sit down and write something that just moves me so much (even after 25 years of reading your wonderful stuff).

    BTW – I see the gopher has moved into the swale – time to move the trap line.

  2. I am so thankful for your words today! I can relate to the earth calling to harvest her fruits. It is what I am doing also. I agree with Milt that the seasons give us variety, not only outside but inside as well. I am trying to do several projects for Turtle River Days and put up the garden bounty.

    Raspberries frozen and juiced
    Basil pesto ground
    Green and yellow beans canned
    Zuchinni given to anyone who will have them
    summer squash what can I say
    cucumbers into pickles
    and 96 buildings on long table……..

    There is a time for every purpose under heaven. Pete Seeger

    Maybe I bit off more than I can chew.

  3. I can relate. Summer is such a busy of time of harvesting the bounty…whether it be the bounty of food, the bounty of light and heat that we want to take in and hold tight (knowing full well that it doesn’t work that way and it will slip through our fingers even as we try to hold on)…the bounty of family and friends who want to gather at the lake, at the river, in the yard…the bounty of activities that seem to explode as we try to cram as much as we can into each of these beautiful days of summer. Being in the garden is such a great place to think. Tonight I was picking beans and thinking…about the marvel that a few little seeds planted in early June result in these long, slim beauties that even our dog loves to eat! It amazes me. Thanks for writing, Jamie.

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