Staying Still vs Change

I am so often helped by Carl Jung’s articulation that creative life is found in the tension between opposites. If you don’t move to one opposite or the other, but hold the tension between them both, a third aspect that wasn’t there before can arise. He called this the Transcendent Function.

The opposites that are calling to me right now are stillness vs. movement, staying exactly with what is vs. big motions toward change. On the side of the notion to stay very still – I named my home and property Here. This came from an experience on the first 10-day vision quest I undertook. I named the huge oak tree that I stayed under Here, based on a poem that kept running through my mind of David Wagoner’s called “Lost.”

Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again saying Here.
Not two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

So, Here I am. Standing still. Letting it find me. This has been my quest since moving here. To be found by it. While I was on that vision quest a dear friend had a vision of me in which she saw my face still and happy with oak tree arms wrapped around me. She is a painter, so she painted it for me to give to me the day I came off the quest. Under the image she painted these words: “Here you are at last.” She had no idea that I was thinking of that poem or named the tree Here. This lovely painting hangs prominently in my home. Here I am at last. Similarly my friend Tracey wrote a comment on my blog from yesterday that said in part, “You know what [the pictures of snow] made me think? All that we are looking for and waiting on is there, hidden now perhaps by snow or whatever veil is present, but I do believe they’re there.” It’s all around us and with us. Which reaffirms to me, stand still.

Opposite to this is a message, another voice is saying to me, “Honey, your life here is getting stagnant, way too still. That’s what we want you to see. We’re going to have to change it all up, whatever that means; we’ve become inert and it’s time to recognize the fact.” Then as if to double underline this point, my reading from Rilke today, March 1, is called “Change.”

Want the change. Be inspired by the flame
where everything shines as it disappears. …

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.  …

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive. And Daphne, becoming a laurel
dares you to become the wind.

Daring me to become the wind sounds opposite to standing still. But maybe it isn’t. Is the needed attitude to stand still Here, like a tree? Or is it to set myself into wild motion like the wind? Can both be done at the same time? Yes. And no. I’m holding these thoughts together, waiting for the third aspect that is neither one nor the other to arrive. Something new. Something transcending both. Here I stand. Full of breath and the wind.

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