Clarissa Pinkola Estes posted a letter for her many fans last week.
Her book Women who run with the wolves took 20 years and 42 rejection letters to find publication and become one of my all time inspirational books. In the letter she said….
“Stories are medicine. Medicine for the world. Heavy medicine carried by those who have the deep spiritual muscle to carry the medicine, in fact, persons are chosen. It is not a profession. It is a calling. It is not a bunch of images, symbols and ‘stories.’ It is a way of life.”
Today the mousy little rabbit, settled into her usual spot and devoured her favourite flowers. Is being here photographing the ordinary and the everyday a calling? Is the creative process exercising a deep spiritual muscle? Have I been chosen to carry a heavy medicine for the world?
There were a dozen other lives I almost lived. I’m not sure how I ended up being here instead of ambling down the city streets where I grew up. But here I am, and yes while I can’t fully grasp “the calling” I know this is definitely a way of life, that I am home.
Do you ever feel that you are living out your calling? Is your own practice more than “a bunch of images, symbols, and stories”? Is it your way of life?
Catherine, I love these thoughts. I definitely believe in a calling but I feel we have many within our lifetime. I still feel like I'm figuring mine out, but I'm focusing on following my passions so i suppose I'm on my way. Thank you for sharing your calling with us!
Jill I feel in my bones that following a passion is the same thing really. It's about listening to the voice within…..and I wish you well on that path:~)
Oh, I can so relate! Women who run with the Wolves is one of my favourite books too, and I missed this recent posting. I too think there are many callings, big and small, and they're all valid. If we wonder if they're not, it may just be that society doesn't value them – yet. This rabbit is a good mentor – just doing what he does.
I love how her words always give us pause for thought, on such a deep level? I like your thinking Kim that society may not value our callings just yet……and how we have so many options. Somehow as I get older I am trying to learn to balance the yearning with the stillness……and of course the craving for more time……
Diana Studer says
a rabbit eating flowers
is neither ordinary nor everyday to me.
And she looks as if she enjoyed her lunch, in peace despite being photographed.
A friendly picture.
Diana that really made me smile!! Of course you have put your finger on something I always forget, each of us lives in our own version of the ordinary and the everyday…….sometimes we get so immersed that we forget ….thank you my dear!!!
Felicity Hayes-McCoy says
Every time I read one of your posts I sit about trying to think of a comment. Then I give up because it seems to me that you've said it all. Thank you for this one. And for all the others 🙂
Ah Felicity that is lovely, many thanks for the friendship, the sisterhood, and for honouring your own calling.
windrock studio says
Such a lovely, thought provoking post, Catherine. I feel that I'm slowly moving into where I should to be at this time but agree with Jill in believing that we have many callings in our life and at anytime, as long as you are paying attention to what flames the fires within you and keeps you passionate about waking up every day, then there is your calling.
And of course you know how much in love I am with your long eared cutie!
Thanks Susan! Yes it's a more comfortable place at this age for me too…..I like your "what flames the fire" hot and passionate. Just like YOU!
Dear Girl, you are indeed in your calling, as much as anyone I've ever known. And it IS powerful medicine. I so honor your work and learn from it each time. I particularly like your grouping of contemplative pieces. Eckhart Tolle said that in another age, the contemplatives would be honored and respected, known to be leaders in their way of life. In our modern world, contemplatives are not honored. The modern world chooses the Active Life over The Contemplative Life. I have chosen the later. I spend quiet time to restore my balance and then attempt to write about it. I hope it is my calling because it feels right. My second book is gathering some momentum: humor and reverence in balance is my way. I appreciate your inklings, your support, your deep kindness across the miles.
Thank you for your wonderful words as usual. I found myself both drawn to and recoiling from the power of Clarissa's "medicine" but I am always stirred. Your quiet time really stands to you Susie, you always seem so fresh. I'm agog at your enterprise and confidence…….and now second book wow!!
Your calling definitely inspires me Catherine, and I'm so glad you've found it…that this is your way of life. For me, I am in a state of flux at the moment, because although I love where we are, I know that we need to change/retire. Once that happens I hope that my new way of life will become clear.
Thanks Jane, I'm constantly in a state of flux too! We have looked at so many other options but for now nothing that grabs us as a possible move. Instead I see myself becoming a bit of a wild old lady living in a hobbit house probably and being tended by whoever is left to it around here!! Totally impractical and a sweet fantasy. I've seen my parents trying to make a move and leaving it far too late. So I understand the territory and wish you well my dear, x
Catherine I love your writing and your photography. I find it very spiritual, meditative and thought provoking. I like to think that all the different stages of our life, whatever we are doing and comfortable in then we are living out our calling.
Thank you Margaret and welcome here today. I can see your calling immediately from your amazing garden…..I love the idea of a calling or even many callings…and a comfortable easy fit is definitely part of it.
Gotham Girl says
I'm in total agreement with others that our "calling" is different at various times of our life and we ebb and flow…sometimes we know it and sometimes we have no clue what direction we're heading…which I think makes the perfect ingredients of life! 🙂
And I think it's amazing when you become conscious of it?
Mary Anne's Alaska says
Catherine, I love these snapshots, as always. Thank you for sharing the beauty in your "ordinary" everyday life.
Thanks Mary Anne!
Indeed a calling and one I am glad you have found…the rabbit is so satisfied and your images capture a life that is peaceful and satisfying for us….we come here and are filled with beauty and love. I have found my second calling….my first being a teacher but that has waned and is done now with education in the classroom…the second calling is teaching through writing and pictures…lessons of life. It is strong wonderful medicine…and you my sweet friend have helped me to know I am truly on the right path! Thank you!
Donna I think you really have found your calling and it is being a teacher of strong wonderful medicine……it's really a tonic…..and your love of it shines through, thank you for your wonderful support of all of us too x
I just wanted to join in here, I have been away from my computer and expressing myself online for a while, everything has been in flux whilst I made the move late in life, I am not settled anywhere just now and feel like a nomad in strange ways after losing my love last year. Coming here and reading your post and comments makes me feel like I am somewhere safe and on solid ground. I am just being with this situation for the time being but would like to thank you for your story medicine! I know I am going to be rejuvinated soon and look forward to joining the contamplative line- up.x
First of all I'm so sorry to hear about your lost love. How sad, my heart goes out to you. Feeling like a nomad is such a real description of that lonely grief. I agree the lovely comments about the many phases and callings was very re-assuring to myself too. At this stage in my life I stay fervently on the path but sometimes feel that going a bit more "nomad" might be a good way to go too. I wish you rejuvenation and send you lots of love, you really touched me this morning…C. x