Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Preface to The World of Mandalas

Unhappy with my current life choices, I knew I needed to make a change.  It's hard to do that when you are working long hours which is partly what got me to this point.  I made the decision to take a month off of work and stay at an artist's retreat far from the city.  There I would leave my work routine and give myself a chance to do the things I like but no longer had time for -- read, observe, write, commune with nature, find some clarity and see what shakes out.

One afternoon, I walked into the library to see if anything there would catch my eye.  Reading the titles, nothing seemed to jump out and say "pick me, pick me."  I sat down wondering what to do next when another guest wandered in and sat down near me, plopping a pile of books on the table.  I didn't pay much attention as I was too busy feeling frustrated that I wasn't making the most of this precious time away from my usual responsibilities.  I hate wasting time and am driven to be productive.  Doing nothing is not easy for me and I wanted answers, direction for the future.  I thought showing up here it would just pour out and I'd have some major spiritual revelation where I was shown what to do next with instructions and diagrams.  Life isn't like that of course, but try telling me that.  I expect more from myself.  But here I was feeling lost with no idea what to do about it. 

I glanced over at the stack of books, on top was this gorgeous picture on the cover, all the colors I love and in a design that stirred something inside of me.  I asked the woman if I could look at it.  Inside were illustrations in bold, beautiful colors and designs.  This was the book I was looking for on the shelf, the "pick me" book.  I didn't have much time to look at it and reluctantly I let it go.  Later I would ask if I could write down the book title and author so I could find it on my own.  Oddly, she appeared possesive of the book and irritated that she had to share its name.  Even more puzzling was when I discovered that it was not her book but from the retreat  library.  She never brought out the book for the rest of the time I was there.   I had to be patient until I had my own copy. 

That cover stayed in my memory so strongly that the day after I returned home, I went to the bookstore and ordered it.  My very own copy in hand, I began to read about these beautiful pictures that were called Mandalas.  I then understood why she was so possessive of that book.  She must of felt the magic it held as I did.  I found myself just as protective of my own copy.  And the journey began . . .  

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