In ordinary life creativity means making something for the soul out of every experience. Sometimes we can shape experience into meaningfulness playfully and inventively. At other times, simply holding experience in memory and in reflection allows it to incubate and reveal some of its imagination. Thomas Moore
This morning I decided to do my reading in the hot tub following my exercise on the cross trainer. I needed to finish about 30 pages of Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul for my current spiritual practitioner training class, and what better place to do it. I was on the chapter about creativity which called for a creative way to take in more Moore.
The sun was shining brightly, hitting me smack in the eyes, so I turned my back to it and opened up my book. I read some, closed my eyes to think about the words, and felt a tickle on my hand. I looked down and there was a bee crawling up my thumb. I freaked out, thrust my hands under water (not wanting to kill the bee, but okay with drowning it just a little) and pulled Moore down with it. There went creativity, drowned by my desire to avoid potential sting of pain.
The metaphor was not lost on me. I thought back to the time in my teens, when I turned the swamp cooler on, and about a gazillion bees flew out stinging me all over and embedding into the strands of the lovely brown/yellow/black 70s carpet of my childhood home. They camouflaged in and hid there for the next week, popping out to sting people sporadically. I was home alone, which I was much of my teen years, and left to figure out how to solve this problem. That feeling of being alone, having to suck up the pain (physical/emotional/spiritual) and figure out a solution, lies at the core of many themes that, if given free reign, still sneak in to run my life.
Part of that, though, was learning not to wallow in a victim state. The gifts which those types of situations gave me (and there were many of those situations through the years) were independence, warrior strength, resourcefulness, and confidence. I believe in my core there is no situation I can’t handle through the Spirit that dwells through me. All the scenarios thrown my way are lesson plans laid out in the consultation with God before I ever arrived.
Not to say that predestination is exactly a thing, because I think that’s too easy. It’s more like there’s some Soul development that needs to occur, here are some ways for that to happen, and the whole GPS destination is wrapped in my own free will. I can choose to argue and fight along the way, and even to take my own path because I feel like it. Or, I can choose to align with my most targeted Soul course. In my 50s, for the most part, that’s where I choose to navigate now.
I took Moore out of the hot tub and he was drenched in chlorine water. I laughed out loud at the symbolism, the vast thoughts this seemingly small incident brought up, and my soggy book which I wasn’t sure how I was going to read before my next class on Wednesday. I put the book out in the sun to dry with the pages propped open by a ceramic angel and a barbecue tool.
I told my husband the story and he decided to try and fix this fandango by sitting the book on the dryer rack in the dryer. (You know, a slow dry–faster than fruit, slower than clothes.) After an hour, though, the book didn’t seem to be drying too well so I put it back out in the sun on a bench, flipped open to the section on creativity.
Later in the day, my teenager was out back with Kai, our 6 month old labrador retriever. My son was on the phone. From inside, I heard him say, “No-no, no, no — hold on,” then come to the door and say, “Moommmmmm, Kai is eating your book.” I went to see and sure enough, Kai was out getting some Soul for himself. Yep, the dog had literally ate my homework.
One of my son’s friends, investigating the damage said, “Oh wow. He ate a whole chapter.”
More, actually. (Ha. See how I did that?) I thought about how the best laid plans aren’t actually. It’s not like I could have planned this particular lesson any better than it went down.
In the end, another copy of Moore is on its way. One thing’s for sure. I don’t ever think I’ll forget this book or how important it is to care for the Soul.