Sunday, January 26, 2014

Inviting the Yeti

In this blustery, coldest, whitest January in years, people are hunkering down. The young are celebrating school-closings due to blanching subzero temperatures, and the older often call for a 'break" in addition to the one life just recently and unexpectedly handed them.

It's a time for streamlining food intake, monetary outflow, objects in the environment. Roadway snow piles, calendar commitments, shoddy didn't-fit compromises.

It might look like paring down, but truthfully most of us are in the throes of managing Our Latest Upheaval. More than likely we felt the swell of its arrival, perhaps even wished for it. We watched the hulking mass on the horizon creep closer, listened to the crazed updates, played it all either up or down to support our other contradicting wish. We purchased snowshoes a long time ago, stocked the pantry with canned goods, stuffed newspaper and rags into the crooked doorframe to thwart icy blue-white drafts.

All buckled in. So prepared. All that's left to do is wait for it to just blow. on. by.

But we forgot about the Yeti.

A quick peek from behind the covers confirms that yes, it's circling the abode, but not from want or need or some other scarcity. It waits, without expectation, to be sighted. It's not going to force itself in. The longer we put off opening our door to it, the more it restless-izes all surrounding persons.

This deliberate separation and tension - it out there, us in here - can go on for years.

The Yeti is about exposure, vulnerability, and facing reality. That's all. Its coexistence with Avoidance can only last so long.

For those that pull their eyes from the screen or the paper or other necessary-for-survival distraction, the Yeti offers a disguised release, a doorway into another dimension. As the day-wake hours fill with our story about what's necessary to get by - Safety. Stability. Quiet. Action. A Plan - the Yeti looms in the shadowy periphery, not doing anything other than lingering. The pressure of its silent power grows exponentially with each passing day.

Its gentle hulking reminder: The more you think you've got it under control, the less you actually do.

We think we can escape the Yeti, though it's never hunting us.

We think the Yeti is a monster, though it's actually a mirror.

After so much denial, when the Yeti is finally invited in - how did that happen?? - all grows very very quiet. Very still. Breathing is limited or stops altogether. It's not necessarily Threat that hangs in the air. Nor Fright.

It's just an astounding realization: Oh, I SEE now.

In front of the Yeti, all is pulled into the light. That inaccuracy you hoped you could gloss over with speed, or excuses, or peripheral noise, is now front and center. The nugget of not-quite-sure is suddenly and thoroughly stage-light illuminated. The carefully hidden is now fish-food fragmented, exposed and floating to the silky surface.

Wow, I was pretty sure I had that perfect.  Thought I had it all figured out. Grip was tight on my Right Thing. Ah, I didn't know, and still don't, after all. Not One Thing. Until now, this one small piece. Until next time, next piece. 

It's out there, the Yeti, waiting. Open the door.

What's your Yeti?

*   *   *
My Yeti right now is a microphone. Silent silver stares at me from across the strings, waiting as I wrestle with my own sounds. Notes are netted, over and over again, bound into a bundle and thrown overboard into the web to fend for itself. A personal bared experiment and truth - like a photograph or a journal page or a CAT scan. There it is. Sink or swim. Now I know. No going back.

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Trista Hill is a professional harpist and fine artist, creativity coach, educator in the arts, and Board-Certified Music Therapist. What her formal degrees in music and art gave her pale in comparsion to the gifts she's experienced in working with creatives just like you. Visit her website — — for links to her blog, performances, and other fantastical creative offerings. 

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