Power vs. Force

"GEOMETRY", 2007, 30" x 30", earth, ceramic, mica, gold thread, pearls


I am a very poor dog trainer.

Olivia is confused.

She loves me and wants to protect me from all harm.

Her giant spirit in a little, little package pulls out all the warrior paraphernalia when men approach my door.

If the man wears a cap.. forget it.

Yesterday, David came by.

I met him on my first trip to New Mexico in 1989.

He loves rocks and fossils and is the perfect roadside geology man.

If dinosaur bones get you all atwitter.. he’s your guy.

We began our 20 year friendship watching the world with witness-glasses and enjoying an easy commentary together.

We still do that witnessing thing and still enjoy one another in a ‘chosen family’ sort of way.

He is a painter. Has always gone out into the wilds and moved the pleasure of his intimate connection with nature from his heart to the canvas.

Yesterday he brought me a few paintings to see.

They were spare and and ‘haiku-esque.’

So accomplished in the removal of EVERYTHING non-essential.

The two of us had not seen one another in quite awhile.

So the movement within us both was apparent.

He is far less than I remember.

I am emptying out as well.

What I SAW yesterday, was a man approaching my door.

My friend.

He looked quite the same.

But he was less.

Olivia sensed him and knew he was good.

I had prepared him to be patient as I had my dog at the door, on the lead and ready to make the corrections I am learning to train her away from barking and nipping at strangers.

She wagged and squeaked and wriggled as I opened the door.

No barking…

She had no need or desire to protect me from this person.

I just stood there as he came in and watched the two of them enjoy the recognition of a mutual ‘something-or-otherness.’

My sense is that she noticed his pure heart, emptiness and lack of type A ‘I want a particular outcome and I’ll do anything to get it’ kind of human tactic (read: Cathy in the dog training process).

He has POWER in this instance.  A quiet and undefended approach.

I think I see that where she is concerned, I am mistakenly going after FORCE.

Little jerk here, a push-away there..


Something about this equation is wrong.

Today, I am going to try to translate what I learned from their interaction into my dealings with my health and well-being.

Instead of attempting to force feed my body with health enhancing activities by rote, I will court spaciousness.

I will let that innate thing come forward without the costuming of effort.

Those clothes are worn and tattered anyway.

Familiar at best, but threadbare and spent.

I am tired and bored today with the ever-so-purposeful-and-incessant-hand-on-the-tiller navigation of life.

The intelligence of emptiness .

This is intriguing territory to me.


One Response to “Power vs. Force”

  1. Michelle Harris on February 21st, 2010

    I love this one. Congrats on seeing that difference. My animal buddy taught me the same thing.


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