Weekend Prompting: What is in the space beyond doubt?

Every Friday, there will be a prompt to lead us to the weekend. I would love to see your responses or thoughts about process in the comments. Or, even better? Leave us a link to your own blog and response there!

I challenge you to sit, breathing just like you do, and just see the world around you. Just a few minutes, a few breaths. Then, set a timer or page limit (for however long you want), and WRITE! Just put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard). Don’t stop. Don’t think. Just ground yourself in the prompt. Come back to it if you need to. But, for all that is good in this world, tell us your story.

This week’s prompt was inspired by a phrase that popped up during one of my writing practices, and it seemed to be calling for further attention.

I failed to start the timer. This probably was 15-20 minutes.

Interesting to note that I ended up with WAY more questions than any answers. :)

***

The Winding Path My Son Vietnam
The Winding Path My Son Vietnam (Photo credit: sachman75)

There is a space of flying – Rumi’s field beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing – and that’s beyond doubt.

I can’t shake doubt; there is a bit of healthiness in that: to question, recognize what I don’t know, to keep curious about my world. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice before slipping into Wonderland.

What about the doubt that freezes me? That seizes my bones and heart and seeps into my (in)action? What about the doubt that whispers, “Stop writing, no one will ever know”? What about the doubt I cling to, despite all evidence to the contrary?

How is beyond a doubt different from without a doubt? Are they different? How do we – can we – be without a doubt? And what does that mean? What creeps in, if you remove doubt? What does a doubt-shaped hole look like? What comes in in its place and can it ever fully fit into the space, or do the edges scratch against the way things were neatly fitted together before? What would it look like, to sit down with Doubt and have a cup of tea and talk with her, not down to her or berate her? What does Doubt look like and how can I recognize Doubt when she is one of many emotions that comes up?

To what is Doubt directing her commentary? Is there reason? What transforms her from shy and timid to the screaming thing I’ve had Doubt become?

Is there a “beyond” her? Or is this simply another sea to navigate? Because I’m not sure my goal is to get rid of her. I like the curiosity and tenderness that Doubt can inspire. I want to keep asking questions, digging deeper.

Is the space beyond Doubt another stop on the path? Winding with so many possibilities and potentials, Doubt can be a gatekeeper or a gatecrasher. Doubt can be a guardian or a block – what perspective is her favourite and what is Doubt’s ultimate purpose and goal? Is there space for Doubt to stand with Courage and Wisdom? What would be the rallying call? Are they various pieces of a larger puzzle?

More questions than answers this time around, circling in but never quite hitting a specific mark – all practice, all practice. There are spaces for questions, for potential to sit, simmer, wait a bit before coming to a boil, boiling over, boiling over.

There’s a fire starting, deep in my bones. Doubt has her own explanations, but I think I see her with buckets of water, trying to put out the fire before it spreads, before it sets the whole place alight -but these aren’t the fires of a problem. It’s growth, the way western forests thin after lush seasons. Burning away old thoughts, old identities. Doubt doesn’t do so well with change. She likes things as they are, because she knows them.

The texture, sounds, and rhythms of what is – this Doubt knows.

***

The full Rumi quote alluded to in the beginning of this piece is as follows:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

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