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You have come upon a meeting ground for creative spirit on a transformational path. We invite you, dear "Storyteller Of The New Millennium," to share a tale and offer a suggestion to nurture creative spirit. What techniques do you use to overcome the challenges of our rapidly changing and complex world?
Posted by Richard Gins on August 29, 19100 at 11:21:31:
"The Golden Thread"
Copyright 2000 By Richard Gins
My earliest memory of it was on a hot summer afternoon with the sound of cicadas and bright sunlight flooding in on a breeze though an open window. I lay alone on a clean cool taunt white sheet in my little crib...some time before I was able to walk. I lay there listening and looking around when suddenly, like someone turned up the volume, a kind of hiss, a heightened awareness and this strong feeling of anticipation over took me. My instincts kicked in like a wild animal sensing danger. My muscles tensed then released like butterflies. Within the dead quiet of the room began a pounding pulse, a rhythmic sound that grew deafening, like hearing the "Rite of Spring" playing in the quiet of my head. My thumping heart mimicked this silent deafening roar. I felt like I was being pressed and pushed ever so gently by some potentially fatal force. The feeling was so familiar, so safe, yet I couldn't understand what it meant or why I was so terrified. I had no words to describe it, no experience to relate to it.
I was four years old, sharing a room with my older brother. The house was quiet, everyone asleep but me. I lay there for hours listening as the house grew quiet, as images from the day flashed through my head and I imagined tomorrow. I made up stories as I drifted in and out of my body. Then that sequence started again. By now I knew it was coming, that deafening pulsing sound, that serious nudge, that ultimate feeling of being crushed, unable to breath, like something smothering me. I would sweat and I wanted to scream out in the late night quiet, but somehow I would make it back to that still, quiet, aftermath, where I would catch my breath, speechless and fall off to sleep.
Once when I was seven, in the stillness of the late night, as my room began again to pulse within the quiet, with that sound so loud that I thought the walls were bowing in and out. I knew by now that there must be something wrong with me. I was scared by with this feeling that my face was wedged with a suffocating force into an endless, yielding corner. So vivid and intense were these feelings that I could no longer take it. I jumped out of bed and went into the dark hall outside my parent's room. I wanted to crawl into bed with them and tell them what had been happening all these nights for all these years and how frightening it was. Other nights I made it into the hall but retreated back to the isolation of my bed because I didn't know how I would ever explain what was happening ro me. But this night, I finally did go in and up to the side of their bed, standing there in the darkness, smelling them, feeling the heat of their big warm bodies sleeping under the covers, with their deep rhythmic breathing. I called out "dad" in the most forceful whisper I could but it took six more times, getting progressively louder and adding a light shake on my father's hip to get him to stir. He awoke so startled, scared like it was an emergency (and it was) but I felt guilty, as I couldn't explain what was happening. But with nothing more said, I just climbed up over him and nestled into that most comforting impenetrable valley in between these two giant smelly swells that protected me as I fell off to sleep.
Then it finally happened during waking hours and with other people around. How frightening to think I might lose control in front of other people. I recall a few times during school and once while sitting in silent prayer at temple when this "dark stranger" arrived. Each time, the room began to pulse, and the silence became so loud, and I knew the sequence was starting right then and there and would leave me sweaty and out of breathe. My worry about "letting go" in public disrupted my focus and these feelings dissipated. I was relieved to know that I could stop these feelings yet felt deprived of the climax. There was such a strange attraction to this frightening experience. How does a child even begin to explain what is going on? After the fourth grade (eight years old), this reoccurring sequence disappeared and I forgot about it for years.
When I was about eleven, while sunning on a beach and drifting in and out of consciousness, I got that strange physical sensation of escalating pressure and I suddenly remembered all those lone nights filled with such intense feelings and became intrigued. I wanted to get back to that place again, on the edge of life itself, the scariest place I had ever been. I wanted to feel that thrill again, helpless as some greater power overtakes me and I can't know what's going to happen next. It feels so mysterious, like putting your ear against a wall because you hear something, a voice perhaps, but even as you press harder against the wall and strain to listen, you still can't make out what it is. I wanted to "will" these feelings on command, and ride them all the way to the end, to that special state of mind where leaps of faith take place. But now, it was out of my reach and the more I tried to bring on these feelings, the further away I felt from them. I began to question whether these early memories of this sequence were just a reoccurring dream. It was something I knew I knew but I didn't why or what it was. The sequence didn't return that day and the memory faded away again.
It wasn't until my freshman year in college that I had a chance to re-experience these feelings. It was a warm spring day and a gentle breeze slipped through my dorm windows. I was between classes and lay on the bed, deep breathing and relaxing for a little nap. Suddenly the sequence started up again. I clearly remembered all those anxious years of laying alone in the darkness wondering what was happening to me, but this time I was able to be in the moment and flow with this building urge to scream. I felt like I was being buried in mud, with some heavy weight on top of me, wrapped so tightly, crushing my body and making my heart beat as if ready to explode. Even as anxious as these feelings were, they were strangely pleasurable and I did not want them to end. Time stood still as the energy kept building toward a climax. I felt butterflies in my stomach and this strange sensation of being pressed with a relentless force, into a soft, dark, forgiving corner of fat, almost like falling though wet cement. For the first time I had words and images to describe this sensation. The experience was full of contradicting feelings, like the deafening pulsing sounds cocooned in the silence of the room. My roommate walked in and yanked me out of this trance-like state. Sweating and out of breath, I sat there feeling it, summing it up in my mind and was finally able to put some kind of intellect on it. Like a scientist, I explained to my roommate in the most succinct way possible, what had just happened. I explained all the sensations and that this has happened all through my childhood and had just now happened again after many years of absence. He was intrigued but thought my assessment of impending insanity or some catastrophic illness was being overly dramatic for the purpose of attention.
I thought about it for a week and one day as I sat in the library reading, the entire sequence became crystal clear. I understood it completely and I began laughing aloud. It made perfect sense now. It was my birth...I was remembering my birth, no human intellect attached, no words or concepts connected. It was pure "being in the moment", a pure experiential memory, sensual, with pure intense emotions. The truth is, we are alive in the womb and then suddenly, with a cosmic push are born into an unknown world. I was excited and relieved to finally understand what this emotional sequence was. I felt strangely proud to be blessed with this quintessential memory. Throughout my adult life I have shared this reoccurring memory with others, only to have many look at me like I was talking about a "close encounter of the third kind", or trying to make myself seem supernatural just to impress them. They would chuckle and say "right," nodding like they've "blown my cover" and I respond, "hey, everybody was born and everybody has a memory of it". For many people, even if they did remember, would they ever trust their intuitive feelings enough to know it was their birth memory?
Now I realize that to remember your birth requires a special person capable of letting go of the need for language, logic or any other earthly experiences in order to understand it. It requires a courageous person able to contain the traumatic moment of such physical change. It requires a person willing to risk everything to make the creative connection with their source and trust in the unknown. When our mothers suddenly went labor and their bodies pushed and squeezed us out into this world, we were there, conscious and feeling the change. We understood that something new and intense was happening but could not possibly understand it in any "life context". In birth, we are required to have "perfect faith" in this creative process as we face our first experience of change, in a lifetime of "change" to come.
I know other people remember this unique event that spans two worlds and I would love to compare notes with all of them. But for those who read this with skepticism, I only hope that my recollection of this vital memory that lingers at the threshold of our existence will shed light, on who we are and how we are living our lives. Remembering our birth is a very creative thing to do and requires use of the "creative process". Learning to access the creative process is essential if one is to transform and evolve into a more conscious being.
My birth memory is intimately connected to my life-long work as an artist. Remembering our birth is being conscious of our first confrontation with change, of our real courage to let go, accept, and flow into the unknown of human existence. These deep, primordial feelings resonate in all of us. Feeling and remembering them creates a link to our beginnings, a "golden thread" that can help us rekindle the creative spirit and reconnect us to the source from whence we came.
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