Posted - 03/24/2009 01:20am
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SILHOUETTE ON A SHADE

March 2009

Sonoma, California

 

Skirting the edges of presence while artfully dodging the deeper pull of life is not the walk in the park one might imagine.  It takes a nimble-witted mind -- smart as a whip one could say -- to stay a step ahead of the real.  Fleet-footedness is the coin of the realm here, as the value of obscurity seems essential for any artful dodger. 

Ever and anon it feels easier to disappear to the surreal in a state of abstraction, where the landscape is always a dreamscape.  The way is often a network of webs....How not to get tangled in the web of life, or do I?  Questions inevitably arise.

Do I feign sleep under the covers until the storm blows over, or do I rush headlong into the winds of fluctuation, marking a new movement in form?  This way or that?

Do I live as a puppet in a shadow play creating the illusion of movement...or has the moment arrived to reveal an articulated figuration at daybreak?  Do I make my move now?

How pressed am I to come out from behind the curtain of my shadow self?  I'll weigh the pros and cons and get back to you....

Try to make it real compared to what?

There are incessant calculations.  Risk has to be carefully measured.  Is today the day I pass into visibility, or do I remain behind the thin veil that will keep me separated from you?  Sometimes the answer is ambiguous.  Ambiguity carries with it an air of mystery and provides an atmosphere of enigmatic dimension.  Quite useful as a smokescreen for indecisiveness. 

Smoke and mirrors.  Sometimes, dazzling atmospherics do the trick and all that's needed is to "sell the sizzle, not the steak."  When the sizzle suffices, it feels like a triumph. 

And yet sometimes, it feels like a three-ring circus with too many balls in the air and clowns playing catch as catch can...all the while ducking and weaving so as not to be hit by surprise.

Then the moment arrives -- as it unfailingly does -- when a full stop is required and nothing but the real thing will do.  What now?  Should I leave it to fate to determine my response?  Heads or tails?  A roll of the dice?  Luck be my lady tonight!

An accurate prediction ensures a win and I remain hard to pin down; yet what if the prediction is amiss, this time?  What then?  How can I be certain that you will be pleased at my unveiling?  Will unmasking and appearing in bared form before you, disappoint?  Would you turn away from me in my most vulnerable state? 

What if I leave my shadow world for an appearance as a trussed up fragrant arrangement on a silver platter, only to find that you still will not embrace me?  Nowhere to hide and I've risked it all.

If I wait until the storm blows over and the intensity of sensation passes, I may equivocate and so with good fortune remain covered once again. Why risk exposure when there is the choice not to feel the experience as it arises?  Involvement is a risky business.  Pay to play and yet we know that sometimes the emotional cost is simply too high. 

Skirting the edges of presence may be likened to walking on a tightrope.  The decision to walk a fine line all the while not knowing if this time a net has been unfurled, is decidedly not the walk in the park one may have imagined.  There are no guarantees that it will go smoothly.  None at all.  Always a risk.  So many names for risk with no reward as a promise:

Skating on thin ice; going up without a parachute; taking a chance; sticking one's neck out; putting it on the line; throw caution to the winds; go for broke; shoot the works; hazard all; take the plunge; take a flier; leap in the dark; leap of faith; give a whirl...walk a tightrope.   

Living life like a silhouette on a shade has its advantages.  Look, but don't touch.  Observe, yet not be seen.  Feel, without being moved.  Be, without response.  Sit, alone. 

Like Jimmy Stewart's character in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window," a man whose demeanor allowed him all the advantages of voyeurism with none of the benefits of inclusion, a life lived like a silhouette on a shade is a life half-lived. 

As for me whose life is an indulgence, trussed up in gossamer, choosing transparency and the sweet fragrance of a blossoming soul to reveal my essence in human form, I'll take that leap of faith and walk the tightrope.  I'll hazard it all by taking the plunge and putting it on the line.  I'll throw caution to the winds, go for broke, shoot the works and give it a whirl by taking a chance as I skate on thin ice.  Going up without a parachute is sticking one's neck out to take that flier. 

I'll take a chance every time.  I'll step into the light and away from my shadow knowing well that predicting the outcome is often a crap shoot.  I'll call heads or tails and smile no matter which, no matter what.  I'll play poker...win, lose or draw. 

No skirting the edges of presence when the real thing will do.  I choose engagement in relationship with all its permutations, because the reward is worth the risk.

Let me stretch wholly and like a cat purr my way through nine lives, all the while intuiting that an examined, voluminous and voluptuous life is the cat's meow












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Comment posted by nancy chimsky on 05/29/2009

oh yes, sometimes it feels like hiding under the covers is the best option.  but then i watch my cat with his willingness to dare to fulfill his curiosities and temptations and later enjoy a good nap. it is much more fun to participate, even if it is more work, more decisions, more crap shoots and less guarantees.  especially at this stage of life where the energy just ain't what it used to be!! but the reward is always a louder purr and deeper sleep.  and the lessons are definitely 'the cat's meow', hopefully with a cheshire cat grin! ;) nancy

Comment posted by Barbara on 05/30/2009
http://burrayolson.com

For me - living is the tangle of my life and my passion is working to untangle the challanges that weave through this ever exspanding self creative tapestry.

Comment posted by Debbie Darrin on 08/09/2009

How many years I lived a silhouette?  How wonderfully safe it was, how free it was to always be a mystery. No committments, no obligations, no responsibility. BUT...no life, just dreams, wishes, voyeuring, fear of risk, fear of failure, fear of not living up to expectations, really it was a hypnotism of fear that captured me in my silhouette.  How scarey it was at first to decide to learn how to step out from behind the shades. BUT how explosively exhilarating it has been over time to learn to ride the waves of life and to choose waves to ride. The choice was made and life awakened.  Now, I occassionally retreat to my silhouette, yet in a different way. It is actually quite a beautiful space because I am not a captive of it anymore.  I kind of "redecorated" the room. I have found it oft to be a time for observation, contemplation and quiet inspiration. I will not neglect my silhouette, but I feed it differently and now it is healthy.

Comment posted by Erin Riley on 08/11/2009

at times i have wished to hide behind the covers... and yet something drives me to not only live openly, telling my own stories before others have a chance, but to take the dangerous path and see what unfolds...hoping to create a new story worth telling.

Comment posted by Donna Colfer on 02/19/2010

Anya,

beautifully written, poetically rhythmic, so much to relate to as human beings in growing bigger in the world. Experiencing our true potential can be so painful in our own minds yet the only true joy and happiness one can truly own.  Love, Donna