Monthly Archives: November 2015

The place where new worlds are born

I dreamed an elephant spoke to me.

I climbed on her back and she carried me through the forest and over a clear blue stream. Her footprints were circles in the soft, cool soil.

We sat together under the trees. I begged, “Help me. Please, give me some wisdom. Tell me something, give me answers. What am I supposed to do?”

She stared at me and sat silent for a minute. She waved her ears lazily and blinked.

She told me, “Listen.”

So I sat for an eternity, or so it seemed, and grew still.

“OK.” I said after awhile, “I get that I’m supposed to be still. But I’m burning up inside. There’s so much violence, so much hate. The earth is all torn apart. It’s so painful to be alive right now, there’s just so much loss. I feel so much grief.”

“Be like the earth.” she said, drawing shapes on the ground with her trunk. “The earth too, is burning up inside. There is much that is wrong, many of her children are very sick, and others have become very broken. But still she creates. She wakes up each day and gives birth, floods the world with a dizzying outpouring of creation. She makes birds, and insects, and flowers, and trees. She makes rocks, and air, and water, and soil. She makes elephants, and rhinos, and tigers, and wolves. And even though it pains her, she makes humans, very many of them. It is what she does. It is what she has always done.
She creates. She spins, and weaves, and paints, and knits, and sculpts, and writes, and breathes it all into being.”

“To create is to live. To make is to be alive. It is the antidote to rampant consumption. When the hands are at work the mind can rest. When the mind is at rest, the spirit can listen. Creation is the language of the universe.”

“Whatever it is you create, pour it into the world. Open the floodgates and release what lives inside you. Let your hands do the talking. Not for money. Not for fame. Not for love. Not for anyone or anything else but yourself and the pure joy that is creating. Give gifts, paint the cities, flood the roadways and sidewalks and buildings with color. Sing. Write poetry, take pictures. Plant trees. Plant trees. Plant trees. Plant trees. Grow flowers. Make ponds. Listen. Watch. Listen some more. Breathe. Even your breath is a gift.”

“The burning you feel is the fire of creation. Let it consume everything it touches. Let it burn away the edges, the places that are broken, and the sharp parts like shards of glass glittering in the sun. You are a phoenix rising from the ashes. You are the daughter of earth, and moon, and sun.”

“You are a tidal wave, a hurricane, a monsoon, a force to be reckoned with, a tempest of flooding rains and howling winds. To create is to destroy, to wipe away that which is no longer working in order to make way for things that are new.”

“Find the place where destruction and creation meet. It is where planets are shaped, where galaxies make slow circles around stars in an endless dance. Go there. It is the place where new worlds are born.”

“Thank you.” I said grazing her soft skin with my fingertips as she turned to walk back along her path, tail swishing, feet leaving perfect circles in the rich, dark soil.

Thank you for listening,


photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen