“It is following the way in its fullness, now satin now cresting. All knowing, it flows one way in shining or in shadow.” Linda Hogan
An annual tradition during my Christmas visit to Ontario is to spend an evening prior to New Year’s Eve with my niece and her family when we write cards reflecting on the year that has past, reading the cards we wrote the previous year and drawing a card from one of the divination cards I have given to my niece for a potential glimpse into what the ensuing year holds.
This year we used Lynn Andrew’s insightful offering titled the Power Deck – the cards of wisdom. It seemed both amazing and exceedingly unlikely that my niece and I randomly selected the same card out of a pack containing forty-five cards. The particular card was Flow. The words that resonated with me were “Become one with the river, dissolving the sense of mind and living totally in your instinctual nature. Let go and relax into the eternal flow.” It reminded me of the beautiful poem by Linda Hogan from which I quote above.
Later when developing a metaphor on the Soul journey as train journey (see https://ta44.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/the-souls-journey-what-station-are-you-at/ for more) I decided I am currently at a station called Flow. It represents the worldview that if I stay conscious and aware, attend to my spiritual and psychological needs, set intention and pay attention then what is mine will come to me – both the good and the less so.
I used to relate to the idea of flow as everything in my life running smoothly and positively. If things went wrong then I presumed that I was no longer in flow. I have begun to realize that flow is much more akin to a river, beautifully expressed in the lines of the poem by Linda Hogan.
There are many aspects of the river that relate to life. At times it is tempestuous and dramatic tumbling over rapids. At others it will be serene and placid. It has eddies and backwaters where we may be diverted for a while and when it becomes difficult to see progress. It may also have blockages – boulders or logs that abruptly stop everything. There may even be whirlpools where we get stuck going round and round.
Currently I am planning a trip to Europe and all has not gone smoothly. I make plans then I am stopped in my tracks by various obstacles so I start all over again. The lack of forward progress feels very like a whirlpool. I am doing my best to let go and trust.
When we become one with the river we don’t fight the obstacles, we accept them. It is not so much about breaking them down but allowing them to dissolve. Sometimes we may need a shove to help us move around the blockage.
I believe I am going to Europe – I have my flights booked. The first and last parts of the trip are to be devoted to family. As for the big chunk in the middle it is still a mystery. And sometimes living in the mystery is what Flow is all about.
The Journey by Linda Hogan
The mouth of the river may be beautiful.
It doesn’t remember the womb of its beginning.
It doesn’t look back to where it’s been
or wonder who ahead of it polished the rough stones.
It is following the way
in its fullness,
now like satin,
waters meeting, kindred
to travel gathered together,
all knowing it flows
one way, shining or in shadows.
And me, the animal
I ride wants to drive forward,
its longing not always my own,
overrunning its banks and bounds,
edgeless, spilling along the way
because, as I forget,
it knows everything
is before it.