I am at a writing retreat for the weekend. I write this blog. I write lots of articles. I’ve started numerous books (and intend to finish one this year). But I’m always looking for the way to structure serious writing into my busy schedule. Should it be an hour a day or three hours a day? Should I go away for months like some do. I know I’m not a nine to five, five days a week writer. So I decided to come away to this weekend writing retreat at IONS in Petaluma to discover what I can accomplish in a weekend without distractions.
When I first arrived I poured myself a glass of water in one of those sheer plastic glasses surrounded by impossibly thin plastic. I removed the plastic and threw it away. I poured the water into the glass sitting on the veneered wooden desk facing the window. I have a view of a roof of another dormitory building. Above that roofline I see the hills. I like the fact I have a tiny room with two single beds and a desk to myself. Very Virginia Woolfish.
As I poured the water in, it poured out through two long slits in the glass. I don’t know how the slits got there. Perhaps I squeezed the glass too hard when I was removing the protective plastic shield. I grabbed the glass and quickly drank as much as I could, water pouring through both sides. Even in this messy moment I imagined this might be important, a relevant sign from the Universe. But what would it be?
Don’t squeeze your cup so tight? You keep pouring something (water: emotions, emotional energy, energy, emotional information) into a cup but it’s leaking really, really fast. It reminded me of some relationships I had in the past where I gave and gave but nothing stuck, they never changed as I imagined they would change with all my love, devotion and attention. And then when we finally split up, years or months after we should have, they went back exactly to how they were before I’d poured my love in.
What about the metaphor of squeezing a cup too tight? I am a receptor of channeled information. Is this a warning not to be tight, planned, structured? For this reason I am writing this little essay now, as the first words of my writing retreat. I want to write something free-flowing, not writing something I've decided is ‘important’ or aligned with my grander plans or purpose.
I wonder too if the Universe is telling me that lots (of something) is pouring through me and don’t worry about the excess that falls away. Once I drank the water in the glass while at least half was pouring through the slits onto the desk, I used a cloth to clean up the excess water. Then I poured more water into another glass. Easy. Simple. Don’t cry over spilled water. There’s always more where that came from.
i consider the planets in this moment. Some lovely expansive water sign energy to explain the water metaphor, an Aquarius Sun (the water bearer), and with a Virgo moon. Should I helpfully suggest they purchase better quality glasses?
And finally, I wonder, perhaps it’s just a defective glass problem. Cheap glasses probably split for no apparent reason. Maybe there’s no big reason for the water spilling. It’s just life. But the process of thinking about the water spilling, considering the symbolism, connecting intuitively to my feelings and a sense of meaning in all events -- this is the delight of living consciously.
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Marjorie Orr has an M.A. (Hons) in English Literature and Philosophy from Glasgow University, and was a current affairs journalist, award-winning BBC TV documentary producer and then a psychotherapist. She has a worldwide following for her astrology... read more