What would you do if . . .

A post by the fine artist Melissa at Gump and Gandhi holding hands sent my imagination soaring the other night, one very late night after one very long day, which may explain the words that tumbled onto the page without reservation.

Her post is about work. One of several intriguing questions she asked was:
Who would you be if money was not an issue?

I've always been a mission-driven worker. But as I devolve, I seem to fancy most what gives me joy. Sometimes that involves a mission, but more often than not, it's about simplicity, connectedness with the Great Unknowable, and being surrounded by beauty, and yes, dogs, lots of dogs.

I'm not sure there's a name for what I would be, but I had no trouble describing what I would do, at least for a while . . . until it was time to give back to the world.

So, the slightly edited, more-awake version of my answer to Melissa's question is this:

I would live far up north with 16 dogs, and my shelter would be a yurt lined with felted wool that I had made. I would run with my dogs in the morning, before the sun rose, then stop and watch the dawn together. I'd come back home to break fast, to stoke my wood-burning stove, then sit down to write for as long as I wanted about anything I wanted, snacking on homemade bread and jam, sipping tea, and sometimes losing track of time for hours as I stared outside at the dance of wildness.

I'd learn to play a native flute and let my yearnings emerge in a minor key. And in the evenings, I'd huddle with my dogs and howl at the moon or gaze at the Northern Lights.

And when I'd had enough of that, I'd bundle up and take long, long walks and befriend those creatures who would have my friendship, or make beaded things, or read to my heart's content.

And I would love wildly.


Tonight I ran across this poem by a 19th century Inuit shaman of whom little is known. One source said she achieved her shamanic power in "one extraordinary dramatic instant." Apparently, a "ball of fire came down from the sky and struck her senseless," and when she regained consciousness "the spirit of light was within in her."

Scary thought, getting knocked senseless. But I do like the "spirit of light" part--and the poem.

By Uvavnuk

The great sea
has sent me adrift
It moves me
as a weed in a great river
Earth and the great weather
Move me
have carried me away
and move my inward parts with joy.

From A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to
the Beatles
Image1 by Bruce McKay
Image 2 by Jackson Hole Continental Divide Dog Sled Adventures
Image 3 by Germaine Arnaktauyok


Anonymous said…
Yay! I LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing these things! I recently painted a shaman and I am so excited to read about this Inuit shaman, too. Now I need to do some research!

Thank you for the inspiration. :)
Anonymous said…
By the way, that header photo is freaking amazing!
Gaston Studio said…
Love the post!

BTW, something wrong with your link for today!
Kathleen said…
Melissa--Pretty cool, that Inuit shaman, and a woman to boot! I'm so grateful for the inspiration you gave *me*! Glad you liked the photo...I fell h-o-h for it myself.

Gaston--thanks! Felt kinda "out there" but it's what came up for me. I'm not sure I understand what the trouble is with the link. Can you email me at kathleenkimballbaker@gmail.com if you get a chance?

Thanks for stopping by!
Erin Davis said…
Love the photo of the yurt. I'm not sure I would be adventurous as you, but I'd like to think I would "love wildly." Beautiful post.

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