Saturday, February 5, 2011
Rehearsals continue to go well. I have not had a full cast rehearsal since Saturday, January 22, but have had rehearsals with myself, or with Charlie, or with Peter, and today with both Charlie and Gustine. The work is showing itself and I am loving how everyone is showing up to the material and engaging with the process. I feel very strong about the outline of the sections being crafted and will save the investigation of each section for later rehearsals when a strong foundation for the work is established.
On the personal side, I am understanding my relationship to the Goddess Artemis. I remember telling Nol, my previous roommate in San Francisco, before leaving for Boulder that I felt I was being called by Artemis. Artemis in ancient Greek mythology is the Goddess of the hunt and nature. She is a virginal Goddess. In the various mythological readings I have done I was struck by the metaphor of virginity as a being-in-oneself. And Artemis being a huntress is adamant about her virginity. She protects it with strength and self-awareness.
On the nature side, of course Boulder represents a connection to nature. I have definitely received this gift of Artemis and been immersed in the natural beauty of Colorado. On the virginity side, I know I can't claim that one completely, but a spiritual chastity is happening here.
I have tried dating here and every time it seems complicated with repression, depression, messy boundaries, and denial. One thing I have definitely learned is that I think every queer person should experience the freedom of self-expression and community in a large city like San Francisco or New York. I feel that a lot of gay men I have met here have never experienced a liberated sense of self-expression and strength in numbers. I am glad I have had the opportunity to witness this restrained environment and to bring my confidence in expressing to this world. I cannot live long term in this type of environment.
I have struggled to be in relationship with someone here and finally understand why it hasn't worked, beyond the repression. This time is about me on a deep spiritual level of growth. Not only is the program steeped in psycho-somatic shifting and development, but the personal investigations I am able to do are integral to my time here. Duh!
I will offer the following quotes on Artemis from my past teacher from Pacifica, Ginette Paris' book Pagan Meditations:
"Contrary to the values symbolized by Aphrodite, who relates and unites creatures through sexuality, Artemis personifies a force which urges us to withdraw form human relationships and to seek elsewhere, in solitude, another kind of self-realization."
"Every woman and every man, saturated with relationships and contacts, finds that the presence of others hinders one's presence to oneself and is attracted by the asceticism, simplicity, and naturalness that characterize Artemis. Then solitude appears as one of the ways of entering into her world."
"...it is prudent, in speaking positively of solitude, to distinguish between that solitude which is chosen and desired from that which is involuntary and experienced painfully as a privation in no way agreeable or creative."
"Isolation experienced as a void is the opposite of that solitude which brings intense self-presence."
Artemis isn't easy to be with alone. She demands a lot of insight, slowness, and surrendering. But her gifts, when I can enjoy the peace within myself, allow for a deep sense of knowing myself. A deep sense of trusting myself. And also for an enjoyment of my life. Instead of being angry that others cannot fulfill my needs I learn that I can fulfill my needs or my needs really are not necessary or important at the present moment. My needs are either essential and self-fulfilling or inconsequential and merely a means of distraction from my true sense of presence in the now.
And these are hard words to accept when the snow continues to fall and I am recovering from -13 degree weather this week. I try to ignore the Bay Area's weather reports and my jealousy that strikes out as anger at myself for coming on this journey. At those times Artemis gives me that reproachful look and I know I need to stop, breathe, and enjoy the solitude of my little apartment. It's not a party life for me here. And there is comfort in that knowledge. I can let go. Eat a humble meal. Read. And enjoy sleep. I have spent much time in Aphrodite's presence and received many gifts and many hurts from her flagrant ways in San Francisco. But, now I am in Artemis' care and in listening to her I hear myself. I hear my true nature speak softly in the falling snow.