At my meditation retreat in January, we made a collage of
our “intention” for ourselves for the year, as we do each year.
As I do each year, I tear out probably over 50 images and
phrases at the sewing-circle tables, and then walk over to a corner of
the floor, plop down, and, in solitude, spread out everything I’ve got for editing and
This year, a few specific messages came out of my collage, all of which are in process of fruition.
The first of the images to note is a pair of immense, daring eyes.
Just eyes, some mascara ad surely. But, the single-minded clarity and focus on
one thing, this is what I cut that image out for. Whatever this image was meant
to convey, to me it spelled, Clarity of Vision—Focus. Which, if you’ve been
reading, is something I’ve been aiming toward, especially with my whittling
down of my creative endeavors toward theater alone.
Next of note, is an image from an old 1964 Life magazine. It’s a large black-and-white photo of a woman in a tennis
outfit mid-air, jumping, with her fists curved tight, elbows up, her face
scrunched in emotion—she’d just won Wimbleton, after a
bout with a fatal illness. The caption quotes her: “I made it.”
This, for me, does not speak only to my own triumph over
cancer, but also the image of someone celebrating their victory. She is unabashedly celebrating herself, and her
accomplishment. She is proud of
herself, and acknowledging it.
How many of us do that, regularly? Not me. It is not an ingrained habit to feel
proud over things I’ve done.
And, again, if you’ve been reading, you know that each time
I’ve shown up to a theater audition recently, the emotion I feel most afterward is pride. Is a
clap-on-the-back feeling of, Damn straight, Molly, you did it. You showed up
for yourself. You made it.
Another strong image in the collage I created caused me the
I’d cut out a photo of two people, who happened to be in ski
gear walking away from the camera into the snow town, holding hands. With this
couple, I’d placed the words, “Let’s Connect.”
I sat the longest with these images. Placing them on, taking
them off. Placing them on, Yes, Molly, Let’s Connect. Shit, no, I don’t know if
I want to commit to this idea. – Even on a stupid collage.
“Let’s Connect.” I don’t know about this. That sounds
hardest of them all. Do I really want this? Do I really want to connect with someone else? Well, yes… But I’m
In the end, I’m pleased (and proud) to say, I took my glue
stick and fixed the image of the couple and the intention to connect onto my
collage. … In the corner, tucked away. But still, There. And as you have seen, I have been attempting to connect, however inexpertly, with another human being.
Lastly, and this is what prompted me to write this today,
the last images I’ll describe to you are of a fancy dinner party. An event. At this event, a man and woman dressed to kill–a couple–are
looking at a case housing artful jewelry. The party has soft colored lights, fancy
centerpieces–whatever you think of when you think fancy, like Hollywood fancy,
I pasted this on, because I want to be a fancy person who does
fancy things. That’s how I described it to my peers on the retreat as we all
shared our collages and their meanings to us. I have been a little ashamed to
say I want fancy things, I want to be a fancy person, I want to wear fancy
clothes, because I’ve been afraid that makes me superficial. That others will think this “want fancy things” means I think money buys happiness, but that’s not what my meaning is.
Because, another thing you’ve seen me write about here is the
ownership of my true self, including the externals. That has meant upgrading my
wardrobe, buying gold shoes, having a cleaning company come to help upgrade the
aesthetics of my apartment.
I have always been a woman of externals, too. I have an
internal landscape that rivals Ansel Adams, and I have a desire to express on
the outside how I feel on the inside.
And I would like to feel fancy.
Sure, not all the time—I sit here in cotton pajamas, an
Oakland sweatshirt, fuzzy socks, with a well-worn (second hand) Vera Wang
knitted robe knotted tight around me.
But I want to not feel ashamed of wanting to be a fancy
person. Who does fancy things and goes fancy places. Who needs to have fancy things in my closet, because it is not
unheard of that I get invited to fancy events.
THUS. This evening, I am attending a fancy event. A gala.
And I will be wearing a fancy dress suitable for the evening.
However, I will be attending the gala for my job–our annual fundraiser–and thus I
am not a guest, as much as an employee, put to work, for sure.
So, this morning, I was more specific in my morning pages
about my intention to be a fancy person – I would like to be an invited
guest to fancy things.
Because, apparently the Universe is listening: all the
things I’d pasted on my collage are happening. Therefore, I’d better be intentional with