Refine, and Refine Again
Weekly Reading Topic for March 28, 2020: Refine, and Refine Again
Well, good morning, love! I just opened a Reading for you, my newsletter subscribers and here’s what I heard in answer to the following:
What do my readers most need to hear this weekend? What is the most important message to send to my beloved readers?
The answer was: “Refine, and Refine Again.”
What follows is your weekly reading, dear one.
Weekly Reading │ Refine, and Refine Again
Q: What do we need to know about “Refine, and refine again?”
My favorite part of writing is editing. (This is ironic because I do not edit these Weekly Readings. I channel them, fingers flying as the words come, check for obvious typos, and post them, complicated sentence structure, unwieldy images and all.)
I love to edit because I love to chip away at words. I love to remove the unnecessary and the obsolete and leave only the purest, rawest, truest words that best express what I’m trying to say.
And sometimes, when I lay things bare, I see the things I did not say the first time, and the words well up to say the truth, finally. It is a relief, to me, to say the Truth of Whatever It Is I’m Writing About.
This seems to be a common thing for artists.
Michaelangelo said something like “Every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it’s my job to find it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
“Every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it’s my job to find it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
[Paraphrasing!! Not an exact quote!!]
Refining marble, or words, or melodies, or dance, or a business process, or a therapeutic conversation, or a child’s understanding of a deep and terrible subject, all require patience, attention, and a total devotion to Truth.
And right now, at this very moment, the entire world is looking at a giant block of marble, looking for our angel to set free.
The pandemic we are facing is tremendous, overwhelming in its scope. If you are staying at home and practicing isolation, good — because those who are out and about in the midst of this feel a little mad. They feel a little wild.
They feel like they are doing anything but refining. They often feel like they are just shattering everything, marble is crumbling as they touch it. One doctor I heard interviewed said something like “It’s like I’ve fallen off a tall cliff, and just before I hit the ground, it opens up and I realize that there is no ground, just a void, and thousands of patients are free falling with me.”
[Paraphrasing! Not a direct quote!!]
That’s some nice imagery, right? I mean, scary, but — poetic.
So here’s the reason for this week’s message: refining is our work as artists, and as humans, we are all artists of our own lives, so refining is our work as a species.
We’ve created a behemoth of a block of marble out of our civilization. Every industry, every field of study, every career, every piece of our infrastructure, government, social institutions — they are all built on old assumptions.
Assumptions about who has value, and who has the right ideas, and how things should be done, and what outcomes count as “success.”
And now, as a species, we have decided, in a very weird and physical way, to re-examine those assumptions.
We’re looking at this block of marble, this Way of Life, and we’re realizing that we have billions of angels trapped inside. We can see them!
When humans experience trials and tribulations, they get profoundly creative. They make art, but they also make new forms of art. They also make new businesses. They find new ways to do things, and they discover that when they no longer have the old tools, it’s actually pretty easy to make new ones, and even ones that work better than the old ones we left on the side of the road to rust.
We are dealing with a virus that behaves in strange ways. It sneaks into organs deep in the body, the lungs, the heart, the intestines, and makes unexpected trouble. Our symptoms are not what we expect. We don’t know how to stop a virus that skips the head and goes straight for the deepest caves in our body.
Our immune system is throwing everything it can at it, while the virus forces us to take that internal inventory.
Are my lungs safe and healthy? My gut?
Am I getting enough rest, hydration? Am I staying safe, and am I keeping everyone else safe?
Where is my angel, and can I let it out?
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Start watching for the angels that will emerge from our experience. Here’s one: the inventor of Dyson vacuum cleaners took just over a week to make a brand new ventilator that can be used by respiration therapists with COVID-19 patients. He’s now making 15,000 for use during the pandemic.
He didn’t see that angel until he looked at the block of marble with an eye to finding it.
And he refined his idea and refined again until he had the shape of a ventilator, a new one no one had ever dreamed up.
We make new things when we need new things.
This is the nature of being human, and this is also the nature of Creation itself.
One of the reasons God/Creator/Spirit/Inspiration (whatever that Thing That Is Bigger Than Us is to you) makes things is to see what else can be made.
We are not meant to be stuck and staid and never-changing.
This pandemic is causing us to embrace the Divine Paradox that is at the heart of every religion and spiritual tradition on this planet: the beautiful is in the ugly, the highest is in the lowest.
The babe in the manger is the son of God.
The little guy who slings stones for fun can take down the biggest, strongest enemy warrior.
The roadrunner never gets caught.
Worms eat dirt and shit nutrients.
Cockroaches clean our world.
We are safe at home, to keep the world safe.
We are the animals in the zoo, and the puppies are at the aquarium.
As we struggle on the front lines to keep the people breathing, as we find places to keep those who have passed until their loved ones can come for them, as we sit stewing on our couch, worried about how to pay the rent next month, or how to buy food, as we take irregular, labored breaths, we are doing the work of the Creative, we are working the Divine Paradox.
We are staring at a block of marble and noticing an angel.
And we are being given the opportunity — no, we are being called, ordained — to lift our chisel and take that first chip out, to free that angel.
Your angel looks different from mine. Your angel is your own, and no one else can ever tell you you’re seeing the wrong angel.
And we have the extraordinary gift of privacy in which to work. We are also gifted with the extraordinary ability to share our angel, once we set her free.
Angels are ideas, structures, that the Divine/Spirit (whatever you call it) uses to aid us in becoming our most True Selves.
So as you isolate and withdraw from the world, remember, this is your time: find the angel.
We are going to see great Refining in our world. Many have prophesied already that 2020 is about the crumbling of things that don’t work, and that can feel really difficult, worrisome, downright terrifying.
But when things don’t work, and they break down, we humans turn to things that do work. And when there is nothing that works, we make something new, something that works.
We artists/humans/inventors/Creators see angels and set them free.
So refine, refine again, and refine over and over. Tell the Truth to yourself, first. Find the fewest words, the most singular line, the most essential thing.
Remember that time in your life when you had the thought “I could die happy right now. This is all the joy that I can hold, and if I go right now, it will be enough.”
Gazing into your child’s eyes for the first time. Finishing that degree. Watching a kitten play. Seeing yourself in the mirror, for the first time, as a stranger, without your internal criticisms.
Recognizing your wild soul, or seeing someone you love live from their wild heart.
Remember your time, and hold it in mind, because that will give you a clue to the angel you see, the angel YOU are responsible for releasing from the marble we are working as a species.
It’s time to refine, to edit, to carve, to remove that which is not necessary and let the angel emerge.
Refine, and refine again. Repeat.
Once your angel is released, stand for a moment, and let it encircle you with its wings. A hug from an angel is healing and rewrites the trauma patterns in your brain and body.
And that is why we must set them free. When our angels are back on Planet Earth, striding around on their great, strong legs, they will help us to put things the way we would really like them to be.
To live from our big, soft, golden sun hearts.
Like angels do.
I am always here to serve in any way I can.
Much Love to You!
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