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The Call: Discovering Why You Are Hereby Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Synopses & Reviews
Chapter One The Call
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
It comes most often just before I fall asleep. There on the edge of restful darkness, as the defenses of a sharp and demanding mind crumble just a little around the edges, forbidden thoughts and unwanted feelings make a bid for consciousness. It has come for years, not every night, but intermittently, when I close my eyes: an image on the back of my eyelids, unbidden and unwelcome, an image of my own wrists, slit and bleeding.
It's not what I expect. But there it is. Most often in the image, my hands are completely cut off.
When this image first came to me years ago I would pull away from it quickly, afraid of what it might mean. Although I was not consciously feeling suicidal, I was afraid that perhaps on some level I was being drawn to consider suicide without even knowing it. I have counseled adults struggling with the lifelong wounding brought about by a parent's suicide. I have two sons I love. I did not want to give any ground to the thoughts or feelings I feared might be behind this image. Suicide was not and never will be an option.
But still the image comes, frequently but irregularly, like some strange andpersistent messenger who will not give up until the message has been received. I decide to pay attention to what is happening in my life and the world when the image appears. I discover that the image does not come more frequently when things in the world seem to be falling apart at an accelerated rate. The tragic events of September 11, the increased violence in the Middle East, stories of poverty and injustice within my own community all touch me deeply, but they do not alter how often or how vividly the image comes to me as I drift off to sleep. Neither does it seem to come with increased frequency when things in my own life are not going well. Sometimes the image appears when everything seems to be working out the way I want it to or think it should.
After years of being unable to banish the image, I finally decide to listen to what it has to tell me, to allow and be with the feelings that come when I simply stay with it. And I am flooded with a level of exhaustion that forces me to lie down on the bedroom floor next to my meditation cushion. The woman with her hands — a symbol of doing — severed says to me silently but emphatically, "I quit!"
But the eyes of the woman in the image — my eyes — mirror the sense of futility that is growing within me, question the reason for all this effort, point to a hopelessness I just barely outrun each day. Her weary face dares to ask the question why? Why do any of it? Why not simply forget about being awake? Why not just find a really good pharmaceutical product that will allow me to continue to function in the world and be a happy carrot? What's the point of all this effort, all this diligent trying that seems to fail more often than it succeeds in creating awareness?
This is a story of my quest to hear and heed the call at the center of my life, the call to live the meaning — the why — at the center of all of our lives. It is an invitation to you to turn your attention to the call at the center of your life so that together we might begin to live consciously who and what we are and in so doing alleviate suffering in our lives and in the world and embody the deep happiness that is our birthright. The call is thatconsistent tug we feel at the center of our lives to do more than just continue, to know and fulfill the meaning of our lives. The call is always there, whispering in the soft places of our bodies and hearts, in the longing that reminds us what we ache for at the deepest level ...
"Although Mountain Dreamer is sincere in her wish to be of help to others, her writing lacks clarity and a strong structure....The author's message is delivered by way of her deep spiritual convictions and New Age orientation." Publishers Weekly
"This book will answer many prayers and cure our absence of light." Daniel Ladinsky, best-selling author of The Gift: Poems by Hafiz
The Call exhorts us to heed the voice inside us, calling us to discover and to live fully our true selves and our heart's desires - finding our own unique calling, not in the expectations of others and in the outside world, but deep within ourselves.
I have heard it all my life
The Call, like Oriah's previous books, starts with an evocative, richly textured prose poem. In it, Oriah challenges readers to discard what they know of themselves as seen through other people and the world around them, and to delve deep into their own selves to find who they truly are. She persuades the reader that there is nothing as essential as what you believe yourself to be, and that it's not necessary to search for meaning in other people and the world's agendas; just be confident of your own distinct gifts, challenges and dreams.
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love.
You are walking asleep.
There's no safety in that!