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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/31/19

6th installment of Gary Lindorff's memoir, "Finding Myself in Time"

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(Image by (From Wikimedia) William Girometti  (1924–1998)    / Own work, Author: See Source)
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In this memoir I am stalking humility along with my rightful claim to posterity, a fine line to walk! I want to be remembered but not for the wrong reasons, not because I was so special or wonderful or endearingly quirky, but because I give a sh*t and I care about what happens after I pass. But writing, at least the kind of writing I value, is an imperfect magnifying glass. It magnifies certain things, the things in the middle of the convex lens, and leaves others completely out, side-lined and distorted on the periphery. It's only human to want to be remembered for the things I am proud of. And in writing this memoir I have decided to let my writer's instincts lead the way, like the Ouija Board, which, honestly, I can't say I know much about, except that you and someone else lightly place your finger tips on the planchette, letting the planchette move by itself to "yes" or "no" or it spells words in response to a question. Who is my partner at the Ouija Board? I'm not sure! It could my shadow, or my conscience or my heart, or my Self or my soul, or it could be a spirit or it could be "the unconscious" or any combination of the seven. I'm telling a story here, and, quite frankly, I don't know where it is going. There is only one expectation, that anyone who is reading this is genuinely curious about who I am. I realize this is asking a lot, to put me under the magnifying glass for however long it takes to read this memoir! Everyone (including me) is too busy, too caught up in their own lives, to take the time to learn about each other on the level of this expectation. But the question we should be asking each other is, W hat do you like about yourself, what are you proud of?, and ask it like you mean it. Or ask yourself. Then get comfortable and really listen.

So, I'm going to pretend that you asked me this.

There has to be a part of us that is equal to countering the psychic super-storms that we have inadvertently created that seem to have no purpose but to obliterate our stories, plain and simple. (Something very powerful is very pissed!) So, I am imagining that you are listening, magnifying me. And, hopefully, when my answer winds down, however many pages from now, the gold tower will be far behind me.


When I came back from the Peruvian rainforest in 2014, I soon realized that something quantum had happened to me. I came back completely rewired to understand that consciousness is a dimension and that therefore anything that the mind can perceive has the potential to be as real as anything else the mind perceives. I wrote and published 3 books in the ensuing three years. All of these books are about my healing journey. Healing the Land with Tao, the last one , is about finding my place in a Taoistic universe and, with that, learning how to love and how to receive love and recognize love. In the West, I think we have a distorted image of love. We look at it through that magnifying glass and we, as a culture tend to focus on sex or physical expressions of love, but when I focus on love, what magnifies for me is compassion, which is love that enables us to feel what others feel. When the Beatles sang "All you need is love", that's what kind of love they were main-staging and celebrating: "There's nothing you can do that can't be done / Nothing you can sing that can't be sung /Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game / It's easy / Nothing you can make that can't be made / No one you can save that can't be saved / Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time / It's easy." What they are saying is, this love they are singing about expands us, it makes life easy.

When I work with the students, at the local green college, I feel compassion for them, because they are so present and so real. With certain students I see myself acting as a catalyst, speeding their transformations, watching with amazement as they step into their power, sometimes pulling them, sometimes pushing them to be leaders, and then being willing to withdraw into the background. I think professors do this all the time, but it is new to me. So I guess what I am saying here is, I am learning by degrees how to be a little less egocentric, a little less stuck in a role, a little more selfless.

For the whole semester I have been doing intense dream work with 5 students, for free. The work has been exhausting but very rewarding and eye-opening and heart-expanding. This psychic work has added a dimension to my life that was missing before, something like a fourth dimension. These young people are much more fluid than people who think they have figured things out. Socially, sexually, intellectually, emotionally and in just about every way imaginable, they are resilient and they are free even though they rarely realize it. I see it in how easily they navigate psychic spaces. They all seem to have a super power that they haven't learned how to use, a gift that they take for granted because they are so busy striving to be accepted by their peers, the last thing they want is to stand out or draw attention to themselves, so the power of their gift languishes. Or they are so anxious to be taken seriously that appearing unusually talented or strong in some area that is not valued academically, or that doesn't stand them well in whatever group they are trying to fit in with, becomes associated with childhood or immaturity; it gets relegated to the shadow realm of dreams, where it takes on the form of a maladjusted or unpopular or seedy character who can't be shaken . . . that sort of thing. This happened to me with my relationship to art, an aptitude I inherited from my father's side of the family. The part of me that was struggling to mature was trying to detach from the part of me that could draw because, until I entered my twenties, drawing did not help me fit in with any peer group or meet girls! Of course I am exaggerating, but that's the idea.


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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of five nonfiction books, three collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain", "The Last recurrent Dream" (Two Plum Press), "Conversations with Poetry (coauthored with Tom Cowan), and a (more...)

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