It is up to the writer to recognize everything that happens to her as gift, to love each thing that comes under the eye’s contemplation, inner and outer.

Jane Hirshfield

I choose an angel card out of a beautiful tan basket, brought home over 20 years ago after a 3-month arts & culture exchange in Bali . Standing on the wood floor in my studio, mini clock alarm set for 20 minutes, I begin to dance into the meaning of the chosen word.

Untangling from literal explanation, I step into the pleasure of spontaneous movement, savour each limb’s lift, bend, swing, glide and curl. Breath and gesture snake and weave a wondrous unknown tale. Suddenly voice wants in, offers polysyllabic play in a thick European tongue.This cross-disciplinary languaging frees. Intertextual intonation becomes embodied integration. Improvisation deep drops me into sensual resonance of another time and place, celebrating the metaphoric gifts of the angel whose paper wings carried me into this loving  inquiry.

Whose curious voice emerged from my body’s unfolded motion? What did she mean to tell me with her audio-poetic display?

Poet Jane Hirshfield starts her book, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry with the following tantalizing statement:

Poetry’s work is the clarification and magnification of being. Each time we enter its word-woven and musical invocation, we give ourselves over to a different mode of knowing: to poetry’s knowing, and to the increase of existence it brings.

Surrendering to the unwinding beauty of the creative process,  I experienced a shift from local  exploration to evocation of a universal voice. No longer a particular woman in a certain studio on a specific gulf island, I am a worldly teller revealing the wisdom teachings of a virtue in need of more willing practitioners.

Do you ever abandon yourself to a period of creative play? Is it with words on the page? Paint on the canvas? Whatever your medium, what happens? What helps you to stay open to the far-from-familiar voices and visions?