A place for believers, non-believers, seekers, and poo poo-ers to explore what is meaningful.
My Open Door
A little over a year ago, I wrote a quick article about my anger over the election of him. When I say quick, I don’t mean that I simply dashed it off. I mean that I wrote it promptly, with no delay, on that fateful morning in November 2016. Writing goes that way, sometimes it’s fast and easy, sometimes, halting and deliberate.
At the end of 2017, I’ve re-read that article many times, in the hope of being inspired for a New Year blog. However, it’s been an ineffable year, full of harrowing surprises and heartbreak. I’ve struggled with what I wanted to say, IF I wanted to share anything, and frankly, did it even matter at all. In that struggle lies the action. So here I am, asking you, as I ask myself, to keep walking through the door.
The symbol that speaks to me at the beginning of 2018 is “The Open Door”. A potent symbol in sacred writings and dream work, a door is a portal, an entrance or exit, and metaphorically, a door can lead to almost anything…another world, a new beginning or transition, a challenge or an opportunity. It’s not a particularly surprising symbol to connect with at the start of a new year, yet, somehow, the vision of walking through “The Open Door” this year felt enormous to me, the point of entry, the great THRESHOLD.
In November 2016, after the election, I wrote an article detailing my shock and anger, and how I wasn’t going to allow my anger to overtake me, that I would find my way, more importantly, find my new voice in response to the current political maelstrom. I made the vow that I would channel my anger wisely into my creative life, my personal life, and my ministry. So, at this new beginning, I’m examining how well I did.
In Roman mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and therefore also of gates, doorways, endings and time. He is a god with 2 heads, one face to the past and one to the future. The Romans dedicated the month of January to him. Janus symbolized change and progression, of one condition, one vision, and one universe to another.
With Janus in mind, I’ve realized I spent the entire last year guarding this open doorway, poised within it. Like Janus, I had looked to the past. I had spent more time than I cared to admit grieving for times gone by, when talk at dinner tables wasn’t fraught with polarized conversation, hell, when we even cared to sit down together. Nostalgic for when life seemed somehow simpler, and more dignified. I looked to the future, but was unsure of what I wanted to do, to create, even where I wanted to live. I didn’t know what I wanted for my company, Sacred Stages.
With the current edge of everyday, so much seemed pointless. The whole #MAGA movement is an in-depth course in being caught between two completely different Universal visions. Talk about looking to the past versus looking to the future. The old world is crumbling and the new world is being birthed. I was liminal. Not of one, but not of the other.
My assessment of the last year wasn’t very good. I’d spent far too much time on social media, reading and re-reading the atrocious news stories. While I’d counseled self-care for others, I hadn’t always taken my own advice. I’d had far too many conversations with friends and colleagues about the role of art in the world of today. On the one hand I knew it was more important than ever to create art in our ever challenging world, and yet, I couldn’t shake the nagging thought, “who cares?” What did I, and therefore, Sacred Stages, have to contribute? Overwhelmed and exhausted, I felt there were far more critical events on which to focus. “Jammin’ Sticks in The Hive”, my follow-up show to “The Edge of Everyday”, was well on its way to a performance date in October 2017 only to be postponed due to the venue closing.
Herein lies the power of the open door, the liminal edge. As I was being asked to expand my perception, my interpretations of what was happening in the outer world, I was also being asked to step through the doorway within, to dig deeper inside myself. As it turned out, I was allowing my anger and sadness to direct me. As the light of truth was being shone in our collective dark places, I was doing the same within, and I was growing my courage and my ability to navigate tension and fear in an expanded way.
And, as the old saying goes, “one door closes, another opens”, instead of doing the next installation of my show, I attended Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training in my hometown of Pittsburgh. My idea for the new show had a focus on Earth, and now I was gifted with greater understanding and resources, and a responsibility to share my point of view, my voice. I needed 2017 to get to my deeper sacred stage within, before I could step out into my next Sacred Stages presentation and performance.
So, at the start of 2018, I’m ready to step through the open door. This is the year for which I’ve been waiting and my voice and heart have grown to meet me, the year of Resolve and The Great Rising. I will remain liminal, for leaders, change-makers, visionaries are liminal, fluid. And that is what the world needs now.
What’s next for Sacred Stages? You’ll see. And soon. I’m going to keep choosing to step through the open door. I hope you’ll join me.