Monday, August 30, 2010


George’s favorite part of our back yard is the pile of dirt that sits in the un-landscaped section of the yard, where he likes to lie on the uppermost peak and survey his kingdom. He may be cute, white, and fluffy - the epitome of a “bitch dog” (my husband’s term for the breeds that women tend to own)- but on that dirt pile he exerts his true self – his elemental self. He is one who likes to lie in the sun, in the dirt, observing everything.

As I watered some plants this weekend, I watched him and wondered, if I were to determine my elemental self, what would it be? It’s difficult to decide – I mean, I’m talking about who I am deep down, past all the desires and the Joneses and superficial everyday needs. If I had one moment when my auto-pilot kicked in and made me do one thing or be one thing, what would my subconscious lead me to?

I’m not talking about being with family or the basic needs of life. (It would be a cop-out to say "family" or "my kids" or "my husband.") I’m talking about who each of us is deep down, as an individual. Maybe you can think of it in a stranded-on-a-desert-island situation. What one thing, one element, one situation or location, would satisfy you?

As for me, I’m not sure. I don’t want to be too quick to decide my one elemental necessity - who I am at the core. At one point in my life I would have said it is being in the Theatre, and at another I would have said I’d just need a sketchbook and a piece of charcoal to be happy.

But right now, if I close my eyes and get right to it and let my auto-pilot take over, I don’t think elemental-me would be doing anything. I picture myself in a cozy room in front of a roaring fireplace, with a huge picture window looking out through the rain, across to a view of the ocean. If I’d open the window, I could hear the surf and smell the lightly falling rain.

I could interpret that by saying that at my core, I want to be relaxed, safe, cozy, and connected to nature. But it’s more than that. When I’m actually in a place like that, it’s when I’m most creative and I become full of possibility. Maybe that’s my elemental self – focused on creativity and possibilities. Hmmm. Something for me to ponder.

I would love to hear where, or to what, your Auto-Pilot would take you.

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