Happy Saturday! I received this story the week of Thanksgiving 2016 and found it to be one that stuck with me and wanted to share it. I hope you find it useful.
The Old Woman
From Michael Meade’s Why The World Doesn’t End
The old people of the tribes would tell of a special cave where knowledge of the wonders and workings of the world could be found. Even now, some of the native people say that the cave of knowledge exists and might be discovered again. They say it is tucked away in the side of a mountain. “Not too far to go,” they say, yet no one seems to find it anymore. Despite all the highways and byways, all the thoroughfares and back roads that crosscut the face of the earth, despite all the maps that detail and try to define each area, no one seems to find that old cave. That’s too bad, they say, because inside the cave can be found genuine knowledge about how to act when the dark times come around again and the balance of the world tips away from order and slips towards chaos.
Inside the cave, there lives an old woman who remains unaffected by the rush of time and the confusion and strife of daily life. She attends to other things; she has a longer sense of time and a deep capacity for vision. She spends most of her time weaving in the cave where light and shadows play. She wants to fashion the most beautiful garment in the whole world. She has been at this weaving project for a long time and has reached the point of making a fringe for the edge of her exquisitely designed cloak.
She wants that fringe to be special; wants it to be meaningful as well as elegant, so she weaves it with porcupine quills. She likes the idea of using something that could poke you as an element of beauty; she likes turning things around and seeing life from odd angles. In order to use the porcupine quills, she must flatten each one with her teeth. After years of biting hard on the quills, her teeth have become worn down to nubs that barely rise above her gums. Still, the old woman keeps biting down and she keeps weaving on.
The only time she interrupts her weaving work is when she goes to stir the soup that simmers in a great cauldron at the back of the cave. The old cauldron hangs over a fire that began a long time ago. The old woman cannot recall anything older than that fire; it just might be the oldest thing there is in this world. Occasionally, she does recall that she must stir the soup that simmers over those flames. For that simmering stew contains all the seeds and roots th.at become the grains and plants and herbs that sprout up all over the surface of the earth. If the old woman fails to stir the ancient stew once in a while, the fire will scorch the ingredients and there is no telling what troubles might result from that.
So the old woman divides her efforts between weaving the exquisite cloak and stirring the elemental soup. In a sense, she is responsible for weaving things together as well as for stirring everything up. She senses when the time has come to let the weaving go and stir things up again. Then, she leaves the weaving on the floor of the cave and turns to the task of stirring the soup. Because she is old and tired from her labors and because of relentless passage of time, she moves slowly and it takes a while for her to amble over to the cauldron.
As the old woman shuffles across the floor and makes her way to the of the ancient cave, a black dog watches her every move. The dog was there all along. Seemingly asleep, it awakens as soon as the old weaver turns her attention from one task to the other. As she begins stirring the soup in order to sustain the seeds, the black dog moves to where the weaving lies on the floor of the cave. The dog picks up a loose thread with its teeth and begins pulling on it. As the black dog pulls on the loose thread, the beautiful garment begins to unravel. Since each thread has been woven to another, pulling upon one begins to undo them all. As the great stew is being stirred up, the elegant garment comes apart and becomes a chaotic mess on the floor.
When the old woman returns to take up her handiwork again, she finds nothing but chaos where there had been a garment of great elegance and beauty. The cloak she has woven with such care has been pulled apart, the fringe all undone; the effort of creation has been turned to naught. The old woman sits and looks silently upon the remnants of her once beautiful design. She ignores the presence of the black dog as she stares intently at the tangle of undone threads and distorted patterns.
After a while, she bends down, picks up a loose thread, and begins to weave the whole thing again. As she pulls thread after thread from the chaotic mess, she begins again to imagine the most beautiful garment in the whole world. As she weaves, new visions and elegant designs appear before her and her old hands begin to knowingly give them vibrant shape. Soon she has forgotten the cloak she was weaving before as she concentrates on capturing the new design and weaving it into the most beautiful garment ever seen in the world.
The excerpt continues here – http://www.boyceco.com/ceremony/TheOldWoman.pdf
I hope everyone has a year filled with joy and grace! If you are like me, at times I take on more than I can get done. So this year…
“if it’s not on the agenda, we don’t talk about it.”
I realize that people inspire me, even fictional characters in films, that have stories of triumph.
Sunday, I saw the movie #Creed with Michael B Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. The tagline of the movie is very thought out by the wonderful storyteller, Ryan Coogler:
“Your legacy is more than your name.”
It was nostalgic as I remembered seeing the Rocky films, as a youth and that same inspiration of feeling someone determined to become what they imagined, resurfaced for me with Creed.
When you are inspired, that refreshing feeling and level of empowerment that rushes your body, can come with the same level of fear and doubt – how will I get this done? If I could bottle up the rush and empowerment and inhale it like the essential oil, lemongrass, I would! But as I age, I realize the execution of that inspiration requires you to surround yourself with those who believe in you, encourage and motivate you before you even tell them you are doubting what or how this “thing” will get done. It comes when it is suppose to. A word of encouragement sent via a text, a quote on social media, a story told by a friend of someone else blessing and even a fictional character is sometimes the pivot you need to get done what may have seemed impossible, then becomes possible.
Happy Sunday Everyone!
I took a 1 hour interactive lecture on how to manifest your desires and even your truth. One thing the lecturer offered is that one can not manifest something into their life if there is a blockage from past incidents, situations or persons that you have not resolved. These can cause a delay in the manifestation.
One example used was a young lady who wanted to manifest her mate. She gave a long list of what she wanted before we sat to meditate by walking through our manifestation. But the question posed to her on every thing she added ‘was this an issue in her life presently that hasn’t been resolved. Did she the last mate cheat? Did she deal with low self-esteem? Did the last person late financial resources due to drive?’
The exercise was one that made each of us in the room look at the present life we live in to assess why what we desire to manifest has not happened. It requires an ownership instead of blame. It’s the opportunity to see and be silent to know what and where you are now.