Our ‘inside’ writers love the opportunity to write from visual images. Thanks to Deborah Koff-Chapin and her inventive Touch Drawing(TM) technique, there are a couple of decks of ‘Soul Card’ images we often use. Last night, I asked the women to allow their imaginations to describe an image through all five senses. They then posed the question ‘what if’ as in Mary Oliver’s poem, ‘how would you live then?’
I think it would be fair to say some of the women were quite surprised to find where this simple prompt led them. And Mary Oliver would be proud. The first line of her poem ‘Fox’ says just this: ‘You don’t ever know where/ a sentence will take you.’ Read on to see where you’ll be led!
What if all I could feel was loneliness?
But here I am alone; can’t I feel it?
Stuck in a dark green foggy world, state, place I call my own.
What if I was disconnected from the world?
But aren’t I?
What if I was stuck in a cold, musty room where all I could hear was the sound of my own breath? Inhale, exhale; inhale, exhale.
What if I only felt the warmth of my own skin against my own, the warmth of my breath as I was curled in a corner crying, scream-imagining my way out.
Cold but warm.
Happy but so sad.
Lonely but not alone.
Weak but strong.
Naked but fully clothed.
What if I could alone decide which path to walk, keep entering towards darker, deeper territory; OR walking into the light where I am no longer alone?
No longer scared, ashamed, scarred and bruised.
No longer alone.
WHAT IF WE ARE ALL TRULY CONNECTED?
What if we were connected?
What if we felt each others’ love?
What if we felt each others’ pain?
Would we be so cruel?
What if we knew a better way to be – would we?
What if we had no words, only feeling?
What if we keep being selfish?
Where will we go from here?
How did we get so far away from our humble beginnings?
I sense a feeling of softness in the air. Yet it is salty to the taste. I imagine the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks as they roll in – out to the sea. I can smell the scent of lavender in the air. I see this proud confident person walking toward me and I being to feel a sense of peace overcome me.
What if I were there; how might I respond to this person approaching me? What might I say?
What if I was too shocked and dismayed to talk?
What if this person talked to me first? Would we be able to have a conversation? What might we talk about? How long would the conversation last?
What if I couldn’t find the courage to talk to this person? How might it make this person feel, do or say when I couldn’t respond?
What if we discovered that we had met before and our lives had been intertwined all along, like the pieces of a puzzle; and finally life and all it had to offer began to make sense?
I imagine what it might be like to finally have some clarity in my life if I was able to put all the pieces together and what it might be like to feel connected with the earth and nature the surrounds me. I have a feeling of calmness come over me and I am overjoyed to not feel so lost and confused. For the first time in my life I feel balance and serenity all around. I know I can manage.
What if this was all to happen from just saying ‘hi’ to someone approaching me; and we engaged in conversation.
What if this were to happen real soon? How might I feel afterward? Would I be in shock from discovering my inner self that I have been searching for for so long? or would I be happy? or maybe even saddened at this experience? Would I want to know more or would I walk away disgusted? or at peace with all of it?
What if … what if … what if …