Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Life rhymes: Baltic calling

Coincidence runs in riffs, and working with it may involve pattern recognition over time and the kind of poetic consciousness that notices what rhymes in a day, or a week, or a longer period. Sometimes this kind of thing is hard to miss.
When I deplaned at Heathrow airport on a recent trip, I discovered that I had booked myself on the wrong coach to Bath. The woman at the National Express office who sorted everything out for me, saving me a couple of hours on the bus, had a name tag that read "Daiva". I recognized this as a popular Lithuanian name derived from a word for "goddess".
     I can't currently recall more than a few words of Lithuanian, but the word for "thank you" is hard to forget, because it sounds like a sneeze.
    "Ačiū!" I thanked Daiva for her help.
    "You've made my day," she told me. "People notice my name, but you're the first to come in here who knows where I'm from."
    After the ride to Bath, and a brisk walk from the bus terminal, I arrived at Pratt's hotel on South Parade, where I was welcomed by a tall young woman who proved to be Estonian. She corrected my pronunciation when I tried out my one Estonian phrase, also one of my favorite sayings in any language: töö õpetab tegijat. "The work will teach you how to do it."
    Back in London at the end of the week to lead a workshop for Alternatives, I met another Lithuanian woman, Marija, who shared a challenging dream of her childhood home and bravely agreed to reenter it, with the help of her sister and a third Lithuanian who had come to that workshop. Marija's conscious dream reentry journey, aided by her travel companions, brought through wonderful healing and resolution.
    The rhyming here is pretty obvious, its meaning quite deep for me. I am returning to the Baltic in April to teach Active Dreaming in Estonia and Latvia. A Lithuanian edition of my book The Three "Only" Things will be published later this year. I wrote in The Dreamer's Book of the Dead about my experiences of facilitating cultural soul recovery with a group of 45 Lithuanians during my first visit to their country, back in 2004, when I found myself in direct contact with an ancient priestess of Zemyna, the great Earth goddess. Right after the London workshop I received an invitation to teach in Lithuania for the fourth time.
    As I sat down to write this note, I received email confirmation that a book on Baltic mythology that I had sought unsuccessfully last year had at last been located and shipped: Norbertas Velius' The world outlook of the ancient Balts. At the precise moment I finished this note and hit the "save" button, an email came in from Ere, the dreamer who is arranging my visit to Tallinn, confirming our travel plans. She's the one who gave me the original Estonian words of that marvelous life principle: the work will teach you how to do it. Yes, it will.


Wanda said...

I'm thinking you will need to do an entire book - not just a story or a chapter, as you have done already - on Airplane and Airport stories. I have a few of my own, including one, actually two, with you; but, since you travel the Universe now, they are building and growing, becoming more fun each time I read them :)

Robert Moss said...

Wanda - Nice thought. I put some of my best airport "Gatekeeper" stories in a chapter of my new book, ACTIVE DREAMING.

Anonymous said...

I visited Lithuania afew years ago with a large group of my family. We went to experience the culture and meet family we had never met before. My grandfather was born in Lithuania and moved to England at the time of the war. He didnt pass down the language because he though it would die out, but i know a few words and phrases and i have my very Lithuanian name too.
Visiting there felt like going home, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. We have a huge family over there and they were so welcoming! All but 2 couldnt speak much english so there was that barrier but it was as if it didnt matter. I hope to go back one day.
I was wondering where i can buy your books, or if you could send me a link?

-- Marija Serafinas (my grandfather changed his surname from Serapinas because of teasing potential in england.)