“When all the love of the I and the Mine is dead then the work of the Lord is done.” Kabir
Last night I went out for a nice dinner with Jennifer Manuel. She is here teaching a workshop and we had a great conversation. When I came in this morning I read one of my little meditations from Sister Stan and it reminded me of some of the conversation we had over dinner last night. So often that happens now, one thing connects with another and together they make both more meaningful. My friend Harry Thurston said human beings are in “denial of the marvellous”. Those words he said years ago keep coming back to me. There are so many tiny miracles in the run of a day.
I like the Kabir quote because I believe it to be true. The older I get, the less concerned I want to be with “self”, the me, the teacher, the artist, the rug hooker. Surely there are more interesting things to focus on, yet we remain quite self centred. Yet the struggle does not go away. We joke here in the studio, “It’s all about Deanne.” I run the website and the studio, do the designs and sort of drive the creativity. For over twenty years I have done this and nearly everyday someone thanks me for my work. My husband says he has never heard seen anybody get so much praise. I smile at him. I can’t say I do not enjoy it. I do. It would be easy to believe it all if it wasn’t for the fact that more importantly I am a wife, mother, friend, mentor,coworker, sister daughter. It is in these roles that what I do matters most. As much as I love being any artists, the idea of being a good artist does not even compare to being a good wife or a good mother, or a good daughter. It is in being these other things where we are humbled, for these roles require so much more of us. It is in these roles where we are required to give deeply of ourselves on a consistent and demanding basis. It is in these roles where we are asked to put the self aside. I have not always met those demands, regrets there are, but I forgive myself. Forgiveness on a daily basis, is part of being human. It is so often more necessary for me to forgive myself than it ever it is for me to forgive others. Age humbles us. We learn our limitations. At twenty one I felt like a force to be reckoned with. At forty eight I feel a lot more like the thing that is being reckoned with, and you know what, I am glad I feel that way.
So when someone calls and I answer the phone and they say, “I can’t believe you answer your own phone.” I can’t help but reply, “Why wouldn’t I?” For who am I not too? How can it be believed that any one of us is more important than any other. We are all small under the great big sky. As Jennifer said over dinner, “If you are really good at one thing, that probably means you have a serious deficiency somewhere else.” We are all important, each and everyone of us, and our real work is to believe to that we are no more important than the person beside us. This takes work, but I think it is worth it, if you can get the job done well.
So that was the essence of our do inner conversation last night. Then this morning I sit down first thing and read that quote. Everyday Miracles. Simple.