THE DANCING MIND
There are many different kinds of solitude. There is the solitude of suffering when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering. Everyone goes through that bleak time. Folk-consciousness always recognizes that, at such a time, you must be exceedingly gentle with yourself. I love the image of the field of corn in the autumn. When the wind catches the corn, it does not stand stiff and direct against the force of the wind; were it to do this, the wind would rit it asunder. No. The corn weaves with the wind, it bends low. And when the wind is gone, it weaves back and finds its own poise and balance again. There is also the lovely story of the wolf-spider; it never builds its web between two hard objects like two stones. If it did this, it would be rent by the wind. Instinctively, it builds its web between two blades of grass. When the wind comes, the web lowers with the grass until the wind has passed, then it comes back up and finds its point of balance and equilibrium again. These are beautiful images for a mind in rhythm with itself. We put terrible pressure on our minds when we tighten them or when we harden our views or beliefs; we lose all the softness and flexibility which makes for real shelter, belonging and protection. Sometimes the best way of caring for your soul is to make flexible again some of the views that harden and crystallize in your mind; for these alienate you from your own depth and beauty. Creativity seems to demand flexible and measured tension. In musical terms, the image of the violin is instructive here. If the strings are tuned too tightly or too loosely they snap. When the tuning is balanced, the violin can endure massive force and produce the most powerful and tender music.