Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Witch of Portobello

I finished reading the latest book by Paulo Coelho this morning -- The Witch of Portobello. His world-famous The Alchemist is one of my favorite books, holding up to countless readings. Only time will tell if I will feel the same way about The Witch of Portobello in, say, 10 years, but I'll tell you that today it feels like there's a pretty good chance.

To say that I read this book is misleading. It might be more accurate to say that this book moved through me, perhaps even read me instead. I was expecting something different -- when my friend Don recommended it he said he couldn't put it down, and my mother said she'd never read anything like it -- but for me what was different was how it made me feel, how it called to my soul. I've felt discomfited for days, uncomfortable, antsy. It reminded me quite a bit of reading a spiritual version of Daniel Quinn, especially The Story of B (which, by the way, I have something like four extra copies of if you're ever interested in reading it). I never could just read one of Daniel Quinn's books, I always had to combine them with action. In the case of The Witch of Portobello, I've been compelled to perform personal actions. While I do feel compelled to teach, I also feel compelled to dance, to sing, to paint on large canvasses. Meditation serves an important purpose for me, a connection, but I need to do something akin to its opposite, something big and passionate and powerful. I need to unfurl, to express, to UNLEASH whatever is pent up inside of me.

After my mediation this morning, I put on a CD and closed my eyes and just moved to the music. I don't typically think of myself as graceful -- in fact, just the opposite -- but I felt grace moving through me, lifting my arms and pointing my toes and twirling me around and around. I felt the rhythm of the earth come up through my feet and into my body. I felt totally vibrant, totally alive, and connected in an incredibly deep way. Sure, I've danced around my living room before, but I've never experienced anything like this. I felt my first natural high while dancing, something like 10 years ago. I always thought that I would need the crowds and music of a dance festival to engender that kind of high on a repeat basis, but now I know how simple it can be, and how necessary it feels.

Next up, a drumming circle. I've been hearing this message grow louder and louder in my head over this past year. The drums are calling me, and I know there's an opening up waiting inside me when I answer. What is calling you? And what is keeping you from answering that call? Whatever it is, listen only to the call. Follow where it leads and you will find what your soul seeks. Namaste.

1 comment:

Lita said...

I could just picture you dancing with abandon :)

I'll have to look through it to see if it speaks to me.

Have a blessed day,