On Wanting

wild bill wants a nap

I wanted an epiphany. I may not have known it at the time, or put it into words, but I wanted a seismic shift.

I’ve been reflecting on the changing over to a brand-new year–2012. I’ve been thinking thoughts like “what have I accomplished in the last year” and “what should I be thinking about creating this next year” and “I wonder what would be really great for me to do, really healthy, really interesting….”  A friend asked me “what do you WANT? I hear myself talking about what I want but I don’t really have a clear idea about what YOU want.” This hit me hard. I wasn’t sure I knew what I really wanted. That wasn’t a question I was asking myself.

I realize I’ve not been friendly with the word “want” and have hidden it in other words such as “need” (a very tricky one when it applies to chocolate or having space), “should,” “intend to,” even “commit to.” But to say I WANT? Something about the way I saw the world had me unconsciously thinking that to WANT was somehow selfish, even wrong in some way. Especially if it was about material objects, success, or anything “flashy.” Whose belief was this anyway? Mine? My family’s? My culture’s?

I am talking on the phone with a friend in a room with the door closed. I hear dog Blue nudge the door with his head in hopes it will swing open. Cat Wild Bill joins him, meow-ing his displeasure at his exclusion into my space. I get up from my comfy spot and let them in, close the door. Blue lays down, points toward closed door. Wild Bill does rub-by on my leg, goes to closed door. Meows.

I feel a rush of gratitude, it is my epiphany I didn’t know I wanted! A line from Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” enters my mind: “you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” I rephrase it in that moment “you only have to let the soft animal of your body want what it wants.” This frees me, seeing these beings allow themselves, without judgment, to want what they want.

So I decide to want what I want. Wonder into what the soft animal of my body wants. Now these wants are pointing me in ways I want to move in, want to commit to. I feel yummy. My animal body softens into this wanting, like having my belly softly stroked. Like stretching in the sun, staring out at the winter day, wondering…wondering…what do I want?

I want to have the art that I create and the words that I write inspire others. I want to have abundant monetary affirmation of my creativity. I want to have a positive impact on the world. I want as much chocolate as I want. I want to go for walks in nature every day. I want a conscious loving relationship with my partner. I want lots of sex. I want to feel supported. I want to have a room to myself to do whatever I want, whether it’s to be creative and “productive” or just to nap and daydream. I want to create positive change in my life. I want it to ripple out to others, and to my community, out as wide as it can go into the world. I want to make stuff. I want to make stuff even if I don’t know what it means or why I’m making it. I just want to make it. I want to feel close to those around me. I want to take 100% responsibility for my life. I want to be transparent, and have others be transparent with me. I want to be magnificent. I want to have beauty all around me. I want to make beauty, be beauty. I want to experience a lot of things. In friendly ways. I want to care for my body. I want to care for those around me. I want to care for the earth. I want to know what my gifts are and I want to bring them into fruition in the world. I want to live my life so creatively, so presently, that time disappears. I want my purpose to flow through me in every moment.


About anartwovenlife

I am an artist, weaver, and teacher, and as it turns out, writer.
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