Come Back to Yearning

Come Back to Yearning

Come Back to Yearning

by Dunya Dianne McPherson

image: Shadi Ghadiruan

Winter has been mild. The ground is soft. On the downslope behind my house, I labor to clear a mangled overgrowth of briar, bittersweet, nettle, and privet which, from years of neglect, chokes out most other flora and threatens the old tall trees. I want to help variety grow. I squat with a little metal hand rake, clawing open the giving soil, loosening mats of roots and rhizomes. I lift aside the delicate myrtle and once I’ve cleaned the path, plant it back again. My knees and gloves are caked with dirt. Some days, I linger in one spot for two hours, snipping, ripping, and hauling, getting scratched, whipped, and poked. It is slow going, but the birds keep me company, chortling in the naked canopy, rustling low down in the dry leaves. Space opens up. A woody path unwinds. Whatever ails me melts into the ground. Once, I found a tiny snake under a rock. And worms of course. 

As I dig, antique bottles bubble up. At first I piled them under a tree as if, having discovered them, I should exhume them and do…what? I finally realized they belong to the bottle cemetery where they’ve been resting, doing no harm. I re-inter them. A friend told me about a sculpture class she’d attended where the artists made icons then buried them. No exhibits, nothing gathering dust in a room. Create, then move the artifact into to a long decay and dissolution. A de-creation, almost an absolution, I’d say. Because everything is like this, we just don’t actually look at the consequences of creativity. We get stuck on making and building, disregarding what comes next. At this moment in my life, many of my creations could be bathed in myrrh, wrapped, and placed in an honoring darkness. I fill the back hill with old bottles and with done dreams. Only then is there space to meander among the trees in the Creative Unfolding. This feels wonderful–to not stumble over accumulations, those ‘just in case’ husks that are memorials to past selves. It isn’t that I disavow my past, but my being is relieved to stretch and shift. My being is a waterfall. My being is an alchemy. There is a difference between a creation and creative unfolding. 

The other morning I woke slammed with vertigo, disturbed by the poison gas of national politics. Vertigo is my barometer; it comes on when, distracted at the soul level, I allocate too much energy to whatever is not part of my soul’s purpose. Over the arc of human time during periods of difficulty, mysticism and art and simple daily happiness have persisted, flourishing in the nooks, hidden in the deep heart. Truth has been spoken. Goodness has flowed. Our energy is a precious thing: we must not squander it, or let it be stolen, whether the thief is inside or outside. We must always come back to our yearning. The garden and the woods are yearning. In the winter ground, roots and small green shoots nestle in dark dirt, lush with energy to persist in their being-ness. As gardener, my act is to discern and selectively clear. To encourage and discourage, root by root, stem by stem. To see it all, feel it all, and not get stuck anywhere. 

I am delighted that you are with me and appreciate your sharing these writings friends. Thank you!

My work and writing are sponsored by Dervish Society of America, a nonprofit organization helping people realize their human and spiritual potential by honoring their body and its movement ways using evolutionary Sufi Dancemeditation practices. Thank you for your gift. It’s tax-deductible! Contribute Now

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Michal
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Michal

It’s good to see you on paper 🌀

Pete Cormier
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Dunya, this piece moves me. I am there with you, hands in the dirt, hearing birdsong, connecting with the earth, roots, trees. Not wanting to squander my energy either. I’ve also been stuck on making and building, the irresistible busyness that pulls us in, to get things done. Now a maybe little more aware, trying to enjoy a few simple moments, of just being. A yearning to just be.

David Hammond
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David Hammond

Dunya, thank you once again for the tap on my shoulder that reminds me to return to where my soul needs to be. I eagerly await the moment when I have your new book in my hands.

katherine
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katherine

Moving to read your essay today, I am resonating with how it “feels wonderful–to not stumble over accumulations, those ‘just in case’ husks that are memorials to past selves. It isn’t that I disavow my past, but my being is relieved to stretch and shift. My being is a waterfall. My being is an alchemy. There is a difference between a creation and creative unfolding.” Noticing the flux and re-examination in my own life as my mother’s recent death integrates into my beingness now.

Karleen Koen
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Karleen Koen

done dreams…..mysticism, art, and simple daily happiness…..this is lovely and profound……

Janice Harmon
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Janice Harmon

Thank you for this Dunya…
“Vertigo is my barometer; it comes on when, distracted at the soul level, I allocate too much energy to whatever is not part of my soul’s purpose.”
I yearn for simplicity and kinder, gentler discourse. The yard is my antidote. I am revived by the life loving energy in the realm of the plants and the creatures. 💚✨ Jan H.

Nannette
Guest
Nannette

Thank you! What a gift to know that some things can, and should be buried! I don’t need to exhume each piece of paper, etc. Here’s to the laying to rest, and to the more joyful unfolding of all that is yet to be!

Marcy Breier
Guest

Thank you, Dunya. Your self expression naturally emerges on the page, the canvas and the dance floor so beautifully. What a lovely reminder that creativity is enough, and the products of it need not be treasured. They can be set free, lightening our burden and clearing our paths.