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February 08, 2011

Where Art Thou Teacher?

"They say that when one is ready for the teacher, the teacher appears." 

First,  let's backtrack a little. School's in.

A long time ago I belonged to this ad hoc group of women writers. We originally met at some Saturday afternoon course offered through SFU Continuing Studies at the downtown campus in Vancouver. It was called "Spark your Creativity". What a cheesey title that is. But, it was a fun course and indeed it delivered.

It was taught by the writer Nancy Lee.  I don't even recall the year.  But at the end of the afternoon, a bunch of us exchanged contact info. And, that single afternoon launched a coming together of 4 or 5 women whose personalities just meshed. It was the start of  our writing group.

We fit so well that we ended up keeping that writing group going without much effort for at least a year.  We'd come together on the Tslaiwatouth Indian band in North Vancouver to meet at Mahara's. Sometimes we'd meet at Jean's place. It was a couple of meetings before I realized Jean actually lived with the animation guy Mike who taught at UBC Continuing Studies Multimedia Studies Program where I worked at the time.

We'd chat and eat muffins because Jean was a Ukrainian Mench. She liked to bake.  She belongs on Salt Spring actually. I can picture her in an organic garden with chickens pecking around and clothes blowing off an old fashioned clothes line. She was a real earth mother into the domestic arts and always writing about living like that. I wonder what she's doing and if she's still writing? 

Often we'd do these timed writing exercises. Sometimes we'd choose from a bunch of random photos cut out of magazines. What we'd come up with always seemed amazing. Like where did THAT come from? It was great; the sharing of each other's brilliance.  But, as these things go, it eventually ran its course and as spontaneously as it had begun, it was gone.

"They say that when one is ready for the teacher, the teacher appears." 

Fast forward about 15 years or more (don't blink) to this afternoon. I couldn't wait to finally meet up with a woman I've known superficially for a while and whom I've always thought was really cool.  She paints. She writes. She wants to write more. She's been to India five times and her first trip was in 1978. She's very "awake" as she likes to say, not about herself , but about spiritually conscious sentient beings like her Indian Master and Eckhart Tolle (my silly words, not hers).

So, we've decided that we're going to be a group of two, her and I. We're going to be our own creative sparks on a weekly basis. We'll talk about writing. We'll write. We'll do timed exercises. We'll ask questions. We'll refrain from judging through praise. We'll give ourselves homework. It's exciting. There's just never enough time in the mind numbing version of dishes need to be done life for talk about stuff that really matters.

I'm slowly building the personal spiritual mentoring program. Sexy ninja healer. Check. Solid spiritual yogi. Check. Tai chi master. Present. Bit by bit I will force myself to enlightenment dammit! (oops, I take that back.)

Today, I brought home something the "solid spiritual yogi" wrote a while ago about what lead up to her first trip to India and it was one line that made me think. What I thought was, maybe this is about writing for her but, for me, I think it's about something else. I thought that as soon as I read that one line in her piece:

"They say that when one is ready for the teacher, the teacher appears."

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