Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A month of balconies

It's been a month of balconies. A balcony in the Bucegi mountains of Romania, overlooking woods alive with bears and wolves and owls. A terrace in Bucharest, perfect for late-night conversations with good friends.
    A balcony at the Hameau de l'Etoile in southern France, overlooking the Pic Saint-Loup and the trail to a Goddess cave. A balcony in Paris, overlooking mansard roofs and the vibrant life of the Latin Quarter.
    A high terrace with sweeping views of 
São Paulo, perfect for sipping espresso and munching  pão de queijo, filled with the moist white cheese of Minas Gerais. A balcony on Santa Catarina island in southern Brazil, overlooking the Atlantic ocean, where swallows swooping back and forth by day seem to be weaving invisible skeins of possibility. Over the weekend, the clouds open to reveal a fertile young moon with her horns turned upward and, after midnight, the three stars in belt of Orion point to Sirius.
    On the last day of my workshop in Brazil, inspired by a dream shared by one of the participants at the breakfast table, I led our dreamers on a group journey, powered by shamanic drumming, to a balcony high above the world. We entered a high-rise building were we were required by security to leave our baggage behind. We rode an unusual elevator high above any plausible floor, to a roof terrace where we found someone waiting for us: that slightly higher self I have called the Double on the Balcony

You are not my shadow.
You stand closer to the sun.
Of all my doubles, you are the most interesting.
You are watching when I forget you.
You are with me when I don’t notice.
You are not my judge, or my guardian angel.
You are the one who remembers.
You are my witness on the balcony above the world.*

We practiced looking at current life issues from the perspective of a second self who is not caught up in all the fog and confusion of everyday life. We tracked our present life roads into the possible future, looking at where we might be five years from now if we continue in the directions we are currently following - and then backtracking to see how things will come out if we make different choices.
    I love balconies with a view, in both worlds.

* from my poem "The Double on the Balcony." Full text in Here, Everything Is Dreaming: Poems and Stories by Robert Moss. Published by Excelsior Editions.

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