I’m a creator. Life is constantly unfolding all around me. It is a perpetual process of emergence. My contribution is to draw the light of the spirit through me and add my tiny bit into the whole. Inner quiet and an open heart create the vacuum that is filled by inspiration. That provides directions for actions on this material stage in which I find myself. Each inspiration acted upon creates another tiny step on the ladder of spiritual growth into Love, the most fundamental element of existence.
My favorite Earthly task is creating beauty. My preferred physical medium is woodwork. In the spring of 2015 I was given the key to a wonderful workshop (both metal and wood) and given carte blanche permission to create whatever I wished. I chose to finish a project that started in 1975.At that time I didn’t have the slightest idea what was to come. Life’s like that.
At the beginning I lived alone in a beautiful location. My nearest neighbor was a few miles away. Horses had run wild since an old couple who had owned them died thirty years before my arrival. It was as close to living in the old west as I could imagine. My stay included experiences like being snowed in for three weeks and a forest fire stopping within a hundred yards of my cabin. A close acquaintance was a huge rattlesnake that kept the ground squirrels out of the garden. We could be found sunning ourselves together in relatively close proximity on a regular basis.
Even there my need to create beauty was a driving passion so with just a homemade 18″ clamp, a coping saw, a rasp and some sandpaper I managed to create a 3′ diameter puzzle sun out of redwood and pine. It took months. I sanded my fingers into a bloody mess. When I left there that sculpture was my one memento of a grand adventure. In 1979 I had an excellent wood shop of my own in Palo Alto where a sculpted pine cloud enhanced the sun. I imagined it to be a headboard for a bed. There the project languished until recently.
Creative woodwork is a spiritual exercise for me. The heart sets the goal. Beauty was mine. The mind and emotional center of the solar plexus, aka ‘the guts’ have to be detached from the normal mind-chatter-emotional-reactive dialog. Then they are free. I can feel harmonies in shapes, textures and colors of the physical materials in the center of my body. Those are coordinated with the mind that figures out the techniques and strategies to achieve the feel of beauty directed by the heart.
One of the most interesting aspects of true creation is that there is a reciprocal action on the spirit of the creator in direct proportion to the relative perfection of the effort. In this project I started with the headboard and felt it should be a four-poster style of some sort and that was it. The design took a month of interplay between mind and body (or thought and feeling) as those two players tried to respond to the heart’s desire for beauty. Part of the process was obtaining the materials and a few special tools. All of those are vital to the end result.
I started in working. During the process of a creation like this there are many days when one’s body is in highly disciplined motion but mind is quiet. It holds a tenuous image of the final result. The body feels the form of the final physical result. Because it is emerging I had to be totally present for long stretches or errors would result. I can’t begin to guess how many large and small actions had to be relatively perfect for the bed to be made. There are quite a number of flaws but none were very great.
So I had to be mindful, in the present moment, for long periods. My heart was set on beauty. My mind and emotions had to be quiet but responsive. Sound like anything? Yep it was a perfect state for inspiration to strike. This is very like a meditation but it is a very dynamic one with material results and feedback. Whenever I lost focus errors would occur. Instant karma, eh?
About two weeks into the actual construction I received my first inspiration. It was in the midst of several days of continuous sanding. The bed was given a name and subtitle. I was given a gift. The bed’s name was to be “The Launch Pad ~ A Bed to Die For”. The gift was a feeling of absolute certainty in my continued existence after the transition that most people call death. It was far more profound than the general belief in life after death that I had held up to that moment.
All of a sudden I wasn’t just building a bed. It was something more. As I proceeded toward completion of the project the sense of a greater purpose for the bed began to tantalize my imagination. A sense of direction lurked on the periphery of my imaginative horizons but it was just out of focus. That became slightly clearer as a friend of mine introduced me to a several members of the local hospice movement.
I feel impelled to use the bed as a component of a special hospice program for those who are not facing death but the transition to continue their progress toward the perfection of eternal life. The security of the certainty of transition rather than death is conferred upon those who have lived consciously from the heart. They knowingly have made significant spiritual progress while on this Earth.
I realized that I wished to leave behind The Launch Pad for use in a hospice setting for joyous departures from this planet. It would be offered to those who know they are at the beginning of their eternal careers. I think of it as Hospice 2.0 – A Joyous Transition and Anticipated Reunion.