Building My Wings

I grew up in the Catholic Church. Dogma ruled our lives. Mass provided structure for the week. Faith was taught–but not fully internalized. I’ve come to realize that there is “FAITH” and there is my faith.

FAITH has sustained me in times of trouble providing a bridge over troubled water, structure, and safety. But faith in myself was always unsteady. I was too busy raising five children and working on two careers–teaching and community service through library work– to think much about it. I was often in survival mode, not fully conscious.

These past six months have been all about leaps of faith. Trusting in the goodness of people and in the process of being led to something unknown and being okay with it. Each major decision I’ve made has been an act of faith.

The week before I left for Italy and later, Colorado, my daughter would get concerned about where I was going and who I was staying with. She’d start googling and asking a lot of questions that I did not have the answers to. She is a good daughter and I would do the same for my mother. But my faith was no longer wavering, I started to do what felt right, rather than doing what society said I should do for a woman of my age.

I’ve had the good fortune in my career to be supported by people who allowed me to be creative and build projects and programs by instinct,  with the purpose of creating a positive impact for those we served. Whether it was a concert series, an interview with Ray Bradbury that resulted in the Bradbury Storytelling Festival, the award-winning Early Learning Center or Promotaras Program–each time I was given the opportunity to create something new it was exciting, scary and rewarding.

Now it is my time to allow myself to be creative, build something new and it is exciting, scary and that I know it will be rewarding. A life by choice. As I write this, a hawk is circling the yard, his wingspan impressive. His trust in his ability to fly innate. I’m looking at mountains reflected in a lake and listening to the music of a fountain. I’ve landed in a sensory heaven.

According to Deepak Chopra “unpredictability is the basis of creativity.” But I like Ray Bradbury’s inspirational words better. “Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” That is the ultimate leap of faith. Right now I’m free falling, but I know I can build my wings, I’m just not sure what they look like–and I’m okay with that. I have faith, in myself, in the present and the future that will unfold.

7 thoughts on “Building My Wings

  1. I believe religion is taught; faith is simply felt. It is not as vulnerable to bouts of doubt as religious doctrine (which so many of us are struggling with of late) because faith comes from the inside.

    Your post came at a timely moment because I’m trying to get through my assigned reading for a class on German Romanticism tonight. It’s rather hard slogging! The philosopher Novalis was just contending that all knowledge is reducible to proofs of comparison, and I was mentally responding, here’s one: You’re as clear as tar. But, actually, you offered a better one.

    Novalis says most people are, to some degree, artists, who have “germinated the seed of self-constructive life in their organs.” We are by nature senstive creatures who can call forth ideas at will, without prompting from external forces. Moreover, we can use those faculties for the “arbitrary modification of the real world.” Novalis would’ve used Goethe to illustrate, but I think you can just as aptly call upon Bradbury! In that sense, the future isn’t something to be unfolded, but rather molded.

    XO,
    Ellyn

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    1. Girl, you are the most gifted writer I know. Your comment has so much meaning to me…and hopefully to others. Bradbury continues to be a connection for us. Now I need to go look up Novalis!

      I love the concept of creativity that you put forth. I think it also requires time and space. I learned that this summer when taking care of the beautiful grandchildren. We created often, but I had nothing left at the end of the day to write or reflect. I slept the simple sleep of the exhausted parent/grandparent.

      I completely agree that life will not only unfold but be molded by me and the intentions I set. My short term intentions were to get my dogs and connect with my sons in Colorado. Check and check. Now working on mid-term intentions on work, life, and love.

      Come visit me–I promise you space to read and reflect,

      Love,
      Elizabeth

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      1. Lauren makes the bracelets after listening to you…she determines the word along with our sweet friend Stephanie. My word “intention” changed the whole trajectory of decisions once I received it! Let’s talk about your word and I’ll order your bracelet.

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  2. My goodness, after Ellyn’s comments I am not sure what to say. I have intellectual stage fright 🙂 As you know I like life simple……
    I am so inspired by your faith in fate, goodwill, circumstances, uncertainty, people, the gods, etc! The best part of faith to me is it can’t be explained, at it’s very core it is unexplainable. A mystery.
    Watching your journey unfold is so affirming, so stay vulnerable, take time for silence, feed your soul, throw away your timelines. Embrace this preciousness (btw that is my bracelet inscription) xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne dear, no need to be intimidated, she teaches literature…she is a higher being! As you can guess this post was inspired by you reminding me coming out here was an act of faith. It is unexplainable and I do feel extremely vulnerable. My bracelet says “intention” and that’s my focus for now. Damn I hate living without timelines.

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  3. Fabulous, Elizabeth! And Ellyn and Anne’s writing has left me speechless. So, in my simplicity, I will write just this: Elizabeth, you are a wonder to observe. You are inspiring and a model for embracing life fully and transforming yourself mid-flight! Thank you for your inspiration and friendship. You have helped me grow my faith that I can achieve all I want in life. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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