Friday, November 9, 2012

From Yoda To Mary Oliver

"One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,"  

- Mary Oliver, "The Journey"

Hopefully, you’ll follow my thinking on this post, or you may just think I’m still under the influence of last week’s medications! 
Have you ever experienced that situation in which a person, place or thing suddenly pops up and keeps frequently reappearing?  I’ve often wondered about this occurrence.  Is it a sign of some sort?  A message?  Is there some significance, or is it simply a coincidence?
Last month while my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in San Francisco, we were on our way to dinner and walked past the Industrial Magic and Light headquarters located at the edge of the Presidio.  After hearing about this landmark, we stopped to visit the Yoda fountain outside the offices.  The following evening while we were relaxing in our room at the inn, my husband turned on the television to check if there were any movies playing, and guess who appeared on the screen?  Yoda!  (“The Empire Strikes Back” happened to be airing that night.)  The following week as I was walking through a local shopping plaza, I caught a glimpse of a large scale Yoda canvas hanging on the wall of a gallery, and I had to chuckle to myself, as I did again just the other day when, while window shopping online for nutcrackers (on our daughter’s Christmas wish list), I saw a Yoda nutcracker!  Lightheartedly, I questioned what wisdom I could gain from Yoda, so on a whim, I searched for Yoda quotes, and I came across one which gave me pause for some serious contemplation – “Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”  With my recent forays into SoulCollage®, I had been collecting images with the intent to create a “Fear” card as a way to face some fear I haven’t fully addressed, to stare that fear down until it shrinks back into the corner and cannot gain too much power or momentum.  I think, as strange as it may seem, Yoda is reminding me how important it is to follow through on this exercise.
As you may already know from one of my posts last week, Mary Oliver’s poetry has been speaking loudly to me this month.  After recently checking out several books of her poems from our public library, her powerful, yet graceful words have continued to reach out to me.  I was reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed last week (for the book club to which I belong), and she included a quote from Mary Oliver, then earlier this week, I was reading an illuminating post by writer and yoga instructor, Jennifer Pastiloff on her "Manifestation Yoga" blog.  Guess who she quoted and referenced in her post?  I began to wonder what Mary Oliver's poems are trying to convey to me,and I believe they have quite a bit to convey.  So many of her poems resonate deeply, and one in particular feels as though it is describing where I am in my life  - “The Journey.”
Regardless if these are signs and messages or merely coincidences or perhaps manifestations of my own awareness, I know I can gain insight and clarity by paying attention and contemplating their meaning.  It's as though I am listening to and learning from the wisdom of elders, from Yoda to Mary Oliver!