Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Rhythm of Rowing

I feel whole and on the right path. My answers are coming. My ideas are the right ones. My clothes are fitting and my skin is my own skin. My feet are under me, taking me forward into the vision.

And life tells me that I am not enough.

People call to me to say they're hurting.

Three people in less than 18 hours with sad, scary stories to tell me, asking me to listen, hoping for wisdom. Wisdom is what I long to offer them, but I fall way short of it.

No Zen sailing will not be on my agenda this day.

In my jeans and an old zipped up Gap sweatshirt with ink on the sleeve, I walk down to the dock in hope that the water will teach me. There waits the red rowboat -- an invitation. Can I face my fears? Can I be the only one in the rowboat on the big water, the one who can't swim, out there alone?

I climb into the boat and sit on the hard seat. I feel the boat swaying. I wish for my grounding. I wish for my friends to be around me. I wish for the courage to face where I'm going, to know what I know -- that I'm unprepared for what I'll be doing.

I pick up the oars and hold them in my hands. I know at first touch. They're too big for me, too heavy, too much. That's no consolation, no remedy. I hold them. I pray. I look at the sky that shelters me. Then I breathe. Then I breathe. Then I breathe once more.

I untie the boat. I use my hands, then an oar to slowly push away. I let the boat float on its own, as I get used to the feeling of motion. I get used to the idea that I won't be turning back. I need to know this or I can't help anyone.

Slowly I place the oars in the water. I ask permission without words, but through the grace and gentleness of my movement. I ask for faith from sky and angels who are everywhere. I need the wisdom of one who has conquered fear.

It takes a while, but I learn the rhythm of rowing. It takes a while, but I forget myself and learn about what I'm doing. I get to be one, inside my situation. I start to understand that the wisdom is only the knowing. I lose my self-consciousness and let my cells take over the understanding of what is needed, and suddenly, it's a dance with the water -- with no one leading.

Inside the fear is the graceful wisdom I was seeking.

My help will be the rhythm of rowing.
me strauss Letting me be


Anonymous said...

You've packed so much into this post,Liz. Themes of wholeness, risk, trust,faith and call all come to mind. I believe that there is a rhythm to life, and each event within it also has a rhythm. Sometimes life seems all about finding that rhythm. And when that has happened to me, I usually discover that rowing is best done in unison with others. It takes muscles that I use less often, and that causes great pain at the outset. But like you say, it finally becomes a dance.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Dawn,
Rowing does get easier when we have help, doesn't it? Everything in life seems to divide up that way somehow. And if we pace ourselves to the pace of our heartbeat we get there at a much safer speed. :)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. Rhythm is not only energizing and motivational - but it can also be comforting. Thanks for the Sunday evening comfort, Liz!

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Ann,
Yeah, rhythm can be a comfort, like falling asleep on a train. . . . Like in a rocking chair. It's steady and wholesome thing. :)

Naomi said...

The rhythm of rowing. I love the concept!

This is not my first visit to your site. I'm usually a "silent" reader, but I'll make an effort to comment more often. :-)

I wanted to thank you for your comments on Shirazi's blog. Your responses were very insightful, and I appreciate them.

Have a wonderful week.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Naomi,
My heart is with you. Please that. I wish my thoughts to your thoughts and I will be rowing for you until you are safe again.

dsnake1 said...

a lovely post, Liz.

ah, out there, the vast expanse of water is your dance floor and the sky overhead, your audience. :)

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

ah, Dsnake,
You are a poet. Your eyes can see and your imagination is in the boat rowing with me. :)

Tell No One said...

Inside your Fear... This post took me breath away. It isn't Fear anymore when you've accepted it and moved inside of it to feel it, to learn through it. You are one of the bravest people I know.

It's beautiful to listen to the way you allow your Soul to guide you through Love and through Fear. You are willing to let go of you to find the you. You are a Hero to me.



Tell No One said...

hehe.. I sound Irish.. Took me breath away.
I meant my.. :)

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Katrina,
I'm no hero. I don't know many, and I live half of my life in my mind. I do know how to think my way through fear and to find somewhere to stand inside. It's there for you too.

You have helped to know that. You're a hero of mine, almost Irish girl. :)