Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday-Cogitation-Soul Pancake:Preface

Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) and some friends got together and started a website where people could discuss and ponder life's questions. I joined a while back--been a lurker.

Every so often I get a kind of newsletter from SoulPancake in my inbox that highlights a few of the recent questions. When a question peaks my interest I will go read some of the responses. This question is such a core human question that it really had me curious as to what people thought.

I actually went thru all the responses. There were so many people angry, hurt, confused, defeated, and hopeless over what they feel as God's betrayal or indifference. Many take death or suffering of the innocents as proof that a loving God could not exist.

Preface: I don't like to talk religion with strangers (and even some family members--hehe!) because it is the life questions like these that are the core and foundation of religions. And the answers that people come up with and/or are "given" by a higher power create all the differences between the religions since time began. Even the people who don't believe in "organized" religion and have a personal spiritual belief system, are agnostic, or atheist can also disagree with the answers to the big life questions.

Doesn't bother me that we disagree and are as different as snowflakes. But--we also have this other human instinct--we are social animals. So whether we like it or not, we care about each other. And there is safety in numbers. Therefore, when we think we have figured out the "right" and best way to live down here--we want to help other people survive, too--enlarge our tribe. Not a bad quality--except when we try to shove our answers down someone else's soul.

This is why I don't like to discuss my own thoughts and questions about why we are here or how to live on this earth with people who don't already know me and are used to me--hehe! To be honest, I guess it is more like I have learned to attempt to keep my big mouth shut about it as much as possible over the years. Let's just say that I haven't been overwhelmingly successful at not expressing myself--ROFL! Despite the fact that I have never been out to change anyone else's soul-mind, that I don't want to be responsible for anyone else's soul, that I feel everyone has a right to believe and think what they want--my blabbing away about my own beliefs and ponderings has repeatedly set people off. That is just the way it is with core issues. So many people take great offense to anyone who doesn't believe what they believe--or who questions and maybe thinks differently. Especially the people who have all the answers.

So--when I woke up (after only sleeping 4 hours) thinking about this SoulPancake question and "getting" that I should write about these kind of subjects on the blog...well, let's just say I was less than thrilled. I have "gotten" pushes, nudges, knocks over the head, nagging, kicks in the butt--let's say "spiritual guidance"--all my life. I'd venture to guess than anyone who has known me for any length of time has gotten a glimpse of how I think and has likely heard about my soul wrestlings and probably about GA, my guardian angel. But it felt much "safer" to avoid this entire level of soul conversation on the blog.

I have been getting nudged and prodded the past couple years to open up more online--and to get back to "writing-writing"--especially the past year! (Nag! Nag! Nag!) So--I have. Some. I posted the stories and poems I wrote in college. I started pondering more in my blogs on occasion (cogitations) and telling a few of my life stories (that my friends and close family have all heard before--hehe!). Dipping my toes in the water, so to speak.

A year ago last New Year's I asked that if I was supposed to "write-write" that I really needed the "knock me over the head--kick me in the butt" kind of guidance that only GA can give. He'd have to make it abundantly obvious, because I had no idea what I should be writing about or how the heck I was supposed to have the ability to do so if I only had a few good hours a day for sitting at the computer and I also strongly was "getting" that all the creative things I have been able to do since I moved to Fargo were right and good for me to be doing? A conundrum, to be sure!

What do I mean by "writing-writing"? In college I learned how to write proper lit papers and reports--which to me is a more formal, analytical, cerebral type of writing. Takes time, effort, planning, research, and rewriting--but it comes from your head.

The creative writing--which is also more formal than the years of journaling and letter writing I had under my belt--comes from your heart and soul--for me, anyways. I found that I am not very comfortable with fiction writing. Making things up and using half truths felt just dishonest to me who had been soul wrestling on paper since I was nine--hehe! But--if I was going to tell the truth--I had to try to be as honest as I possibly could. That meant going back there--reliving--feeling it all over again. You can't keep your distance if you have to go back and see, smell, feel, taste, and hear it again to the best of your recollection, you know? And it was physically very hard on me.

Stress and fibro don't go together well--at all. When I was lost in the creative writing process in college--it was horrendous on my body. The fibro got worse and worse. But I didn't know any other way to write but to kind of go outside of time. Also--for "writing-writing" you do literally write and rewrite--draft after draft--return in time over and over again. For me to write like I feel I am "supposed" to--the "writing-writing"--it comes from my safe place--my soul--where I have written from since I started when I was nine. Where GA sits over my shoulder and leaves me nowhere to hide from the light--revealing my own familiar darkness--amazed by my own light. It is hard to explain. Because it is writing from the places that are hard to put words to. Sometimes you even have to write around something to reveal it even to yourself.

Anyways--I kept getting the nudges to write-write. I ask for unmistakable guidance. Out of the clear blue sky Barbara finds me on facebook after all these years and offers to enter Baby Girl for me. I win. Big knock-over-the-head thing, wouldn't you say? And the answer to the dilemma of how to sit at the computer for more hours in my limited days? The McLap!!! (Are you already sorry? ROFL!)

So then this New Year's--I ask for obvious guidance as to what I am supposed to write about?? And what I "got" tonight was it is not so much what I am supposed to write, but where I am writing from. I never looked at it that way. My more polished stories and poems from college were actually written from my safe place--letting people in closer to my very soul--but in a more formal way. Not like just chatting from my safe place where GA and I discuss my path and my progress--hehe! Writing from my safe place is kind of like a keeping a soul diary. But all my life I have written casually from this place--to close friends and family--and for fifty years to myself--GA/God/The Universe. Not polished--professional--edited and re-edited--just like this--letting my thoughts free to tumble, roam, settle, gestate, question, search, pry, dig, evaluate, learn, and--hopefully--to leap into the light.

Well--I got my answer tonight. I am supposed to write more often from my safe place--on this level--here--on the blog!! No wonder I wasn't exactly thrilled, eh? My safe place is a positive, private place where I am free to be myself--good, bad, and the ugly. So, when I share on this level--it is just me and my own personal path. I am not out to fight with anyone, create controversy, or convince anyone of anything. I am just sharing my life, my mind, my soul.

Never fear--I will also chit-chat as usual about the weather, Miss Karma, crafts, movies, cleaning mold out of the carpet, and all the other wonderful parts of my daily life. Wonder is in the eye of the beholder. ;) You will be warned about my ramblings so that you can skip them if you wish. I'll continue to label them in the title. After all--Miss Karma practically has her own fan club and this kind of stuff bores her to tears and puts her right to sleep. ;)

Next Cogitation will be on the Soul Pancake question. :):)


AliceKay said...

Very insightful post. I'm a person who believes that if you really want to let others "in", you first have to let some of yourself "out". Sometimes that works out for the good, but sometimes people take advantage of your vulnerabilities, if you have one, and I do. It's a hard lesson to learn, and I'm still learning.

I'll be returning on a daily basis to read more of your stories.

I hope you were able to get some more sleep today. *hugs*

Serena Lewis said...

Your blog can only get better, Rita. I will look forward to reading more on your 'safe place' thoughts re. life and your soul journey. I love your blog although I've been a bit absent this past's been so busy lately. I'm finally getting bits of time to catch up though... :)

Rita said...

Hi AliceKay,
I know what you mean. I have always been a pretty open and trusting person. Was easy to take advantage of. But I would rather choose to live with trust and openness over closing myself off and trusting no one--because that is a dark world. (I tried it--hehe!) Love can always triumph over hate and fear. If you become afraid to love--then the darkness wins. I had to decide what side I was on. :)

Life ain't easy or painless--ROFL! But it can be downright glorious!! :):)

Rita said...

Thanks so much, Serena! That means a lot coming from you. :)

I hope all is going well/better now your way and that you get a chance to relax and catch your breath. Best wishes!

Jenifleur-de-lis said...


Haha...nevermind that deleted comment. Talk about drafting and rewording. I even do this with comments I post on other people's blogs. Darn school. And it probably doesn't help that it is waaay past my bedtime. Here goes my comment repost...

This is very exciting news. We've had many of these types of discussions, and you are one of the few people I know who I actually feel very comfortable with discussing these soul-full topics. It's very refreshing to know who you can talk to about these things and not offend, you know? You'd be one of those people. The ability to look at things with an open mind is truely a gift to have in life. It opens so many doors and shows that there's a possibility for so many different viewpoints. Maybe this is why GA is pushing you to write about this subject?

Also, you said..."Sometimes you even have to write around something to reveal it even to yourself." I so agree! Free writing has helped me learn and understand so many things about myself, about others, and about situations. It's whether or not we choose to listen to our words that has gotten me in trouble in the past. :) Those muses really know how to guide us humans, huh?

I'll be sure to stay tuned!

Rita said...

Thanks so much, Jennifer! That's the best compliment you could give me. I guess I've always believed it's an honor to be a "safe place" for another soul, you know? Yes--we sure have had some great talks, haven't we? And, as a fellow writer, I know you understand. :) Yup--listen to the muses!! Glad you're online again, Lady!

Intense Guy said...

You have such a good attitude and outlook on life - your cogitations could but only help this sorry/sad old world.

Like you just helped me - changing my thought that I was "compelled" to write as in a form of OCD - to that of a GA nudging me... thats a huge change of attitude you know?

...and I wouldn't fret about rewriting/revising/ and editing over and over a blog entry - a spell-check and a proofread should do it. :)

P.s., in one of the middle paragraphs it starts "I year ago last New Year's I asked..." - did you mean "A year ago..." or "One year ago..." - not that matters...?

Rita said...

Hi Iggy!
I went back and fixed it. Yes--supposed to be "A" not "I" year ago--hehe! Spellcheck and my quick proofreading is a system not without its flaws, obviously.

Thank you so much, my friend! I think if I had more energy I'd cogitate more often--hehe! Nice to know you are also nudged to write, too. :):)

Rita said...

Hi Iggy!
I went back and fixed it. Yes--supposed to be "A" not "I" year ago--hehe! Spellcheck and my quick proofreading is a system not without its flaws, obviously.

Thank you so much, my friend! I think if I had more energy I'd cogitate more often--hehe! Nice to know you are also nudged to write, too. :):)