Monday, November 26, 2012

Thank You All



I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful, happy Thanksgiving holiday, as I did, thinking of you.

I took the weekend to read back through our four months of conversation together.  It was such a grateful time for me to revisit your many kind words. Thank you all.

It will soon be a year since the night I left Innermost House for the last time.  I chose to leave that secret world in order to share it more openly.  Yet looking back over my own words, I see how far I have failed to share the truth of the Innermost Life.

My last posts attempted to recount a Thanksgiving week, but I failed even to touch the essence of it at all.  I do not mean the facts are wrong.  But the feeling is missing, the difference.

For as different as Innermost House appears to be from other houses, the life of it is immeasurably more different within.  It is the within-ness I find so incommunicable.

Through our seven years in the woods I observed a curious phenomenon among visitors.  It was as if the essential character of a person would rise to the surface of their life as soon as they entered the house, almost upon the instant.

Sometimes the revelation of that essence was sought and welcome, sometimes it was not.  I would watch religious people surge in their faith, poetical people break into verse, delicate people burst into tears.

Then I would see skeptical people become watchful in their suspicion, and proud people grow stiff in their resistance.

I did not say a word.  Innermost House only needed to be seen and people would speak from their innerness.  Then they would know.  And I would know.

In a way I think the photographs say what I cannot.  It is the first impression that tells.  If I could, I would find a way of sharing Innermost House over and over again for the first time only, for that is the truth of how we lived in the woods.

I sometimes feel my words dull that first impression.  I fail to leave you and the house alone.  For it is not I who can make the difference.  It is the house.  I don't know how, but I have seen it happen.  It is the house that awakens a person's inner life, whatever their inner life may be.

I no longer think there will be another Innermost House.  It does not seem intended to happen.  I don't know of course.  I am still listening, waiting to know.

I need to find a way to share the house without me in the way.  Perhaps pictures alone are best, or pictures along with a very few words.  

I would like articles to be published everywhere, first time after first time, and gathered together here.  And there is the picture book I began before I knew I would leave.

Thank you all for seeing yourselves in Innermost House.  I am feeling my way still, as I have always.  I am feeling for new beginnings we can share together, seeking out quiet ways to illuminate the house in our hearts.


12 comments:

  1. I understand Diana. For me it was seeing the photo gallery of the House, the fireside, the kitchen with the vegetables on the counter, and I instantly thought yes. that's it. You have done it. It's what we are all reaching for with our language of religion or spirituality or aesthetics or psychology or architecture.. all reaching in different ways towards one thing that you managed to encapsulate without words.

    The Innermost House is a work of art. I am not enough of an art critic to essay it completely but books could be written and will be.

    It involves daily life as an art, there's a performance element and an aesthetic component and a theme and all the things that combine into this installation of the Innermost House, that is site specific and must be occupied by you, the artist to have its full life.

    IH is art and you created it and inhabited it for as long as you needed to, but you also could not stay there forever, and now it is time for your next artwork.

    You are awesome, Diana, thank you for this.

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  2. Diana,

    I, for one, am thankful for the opportunity to "share" the beauty and life of Innermost House through your postings and the "community" of Innermost House.

    In your posting you wrote "...The life of it is immeasurably more different within. It is the within-ness..." I agree. The pictures, the video, the postings - all have a within-ness that is very palpable - a heartbeat or soulbeat so to speak.

    Gary B. wrote "Innermost House is a work of art... it involves daily life as an art..." I agree with Gary too. I believe Innermost House conveys a palpable energy of life that restores and rejuvenates others for life's journey. Innermost House is both tangible and intangible simultaneously. The art that is Innermost House speaks to the soul.

    I offer my deepest gratitude to you Diana for sharing Innermost House with all of us.

    JoAnn Wills Kline

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  3. Thank you Gary B. and JoAnn for your comments because you have expressed my sentiments and likely many others here in our community.

    Diana, your photos have reached us and your poetic words have been like music to accompany the beautiful images. There is no reason to feel anything has been lacking. Sometimes conversations need to come full circle (which is something I believe you have said) to allow the words to be refined and distilled down to the essence of our thoughts and feelings. Participating in this conversation has been a treasured experience and I am enjoying its evolution.

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  5. Hello you two, I remember That house well, my husband built it. It's as beautiful as I remember. Get in touch, we miss you both.
    The Walkers

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    1. Mrs. Walker, what a pleasure to meet you here.

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    2. Mrs. Walker, how lovely to meet you. Was your husband the carpenter who helped Michael construct the house?

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  6. Perhaps you will make many Innermost houses in different places, so that people all over the country, perhaps all over the world, can enter into it themselves? Blessings on this journey. You have had such trust in it, and I think your faith has brought forth this beautiful phenomenon. Now I am beginning to hold my own trust in the Conversation as I understand it, and I can hold that for you if you find yourself wavering. I am sure others here are able to do that as well.

    Perhaps one day there will be an Innermost House in every neighbourhood, so that the people who are drawn to it can go there to experience the Conversation and get drawn into their own Conversation? I might never fly to the Americas, but I would love to visit you if I could walk there.

    Perhaps the culture we are immersed in will swirl around us to find value in the Innermost, in the plain and sensitive style of 'simple living and high thinking' that you have been embodying.

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  7. "It was as if the essential character of a person would rise to the surface of their life as soon as they entered the house, almost upon the instant." Diana, I instantly encountered my own character upon "meeting" you, through your words as well as through your little house. I understand. When you described your years of silent waiting, for what exactly you didn't know, I understood. Through your humble explanation of "Timeless Time" I immediately understood that it was always "time" for me. All along. And "Beautiful Necessity". Of all things, this was the one that made me think I had heard the sound of my own secret name from the Place I had been before time--and the Place I'll return to after time is done. "What is your name, child?", "Necessity. BEAUTIFUL Necessity. That's my name. Wear it out."

    There was one photograph of Innermost House that had a surprising effect upon me. It was empty. Quite bare. You weren't there, Diana. It was, for me, as if I was standing in the ancient garden. I had eaten the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and had realized that I was naked--and I was NOT ashamed. Not a bit of it.

    Diana, YOU YOURSELF are the "inner" in Innermost House. Just you. Only you. You, Diana. Without you, dear, it really is just a very pretty little house, with no magic other than the magic that was brought into it and then turned inside-out of it. I'm not saying this to flatter you or to praise you inordinately, but to encourage you because I consider you a friend. Never despair. There will be another Innermost House. You WILL walk through that door again. You WILL greet your fire again. If there is one thing that I want to say to you today, it's this: No Diana. Thank YOU.

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    1. Diana, I totally concur with Julie's comments--it is the Presence that you and Michael embody as two halves of the same coin that is the essential character of IH, and to which people respond depending on their level of awareness and openness to receive. My own reaction upon seeing the photos of IH and reading your beautiful words has been one of profound reverence and awe for That. IH is like being held in a loving embrace in which the divinity of Life is cherished and celebrated in all its ordinariness and splendor, the darkness and the light. There will never be quite the same IH anywhere else, because you and Michael, as the creators of IH, have been re-shaped by all that has come after IH, and because each thing on this planet is unique, and because on the surface level of existence change is our only constant. However, that does not mean that a new expression of the eternal aspect of Presence embodied in IH cannot also arise with its own unique flavor that may look like the old IH and feel like the old IH but will nevertheless be a totally new creation. How or when this will occur is something that is up to the universe to decide (if it happens at all or even NEEDS to happen again), but I have full faith that your next step will unfold when the time is ripe. Until then, I have no doubt that even as you may continue to mourn the loss of your beloved space, you will keep your heart wide open in quiet receptivity and surrender to the silent question of the Conversation that keeps whispering "What next?" And hopefully, you will allow us to remain an active part of your journey. For, to me, the best part of IH has been learning to lean into the prescient timeless moment of waiting in wonder as the mystery of Life reveals itself in each new thing that arises.

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  8. Hello Diana,
    I find the "Innermost House" very intriguing. I guess many would. Many thoughts come to mind when I read about your experience there in the woods. I feel like there is his need to be "as one" again. We feel like something is missing and we are on a quest in this life to constantly find the missing piece. The puzzle of life is one that is quite mysterious and obscured at the same time. Our own true needs are often hidden or buried under the "junk" of life. Sweeping this away can sometimes make ourselves see clearer what it is that we truly long for. I hope you found it. My question is: Did you find it?

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  9. "I need to find a way to share the house without me in the way. Perhaps pictures alone are best, or pictures along with a very few words."

    Diana, one of the things that I've found so interesting about IH is how my body kinesthetically slows down in response to the photos, as though it instinctively wants to match the visual rhythm of the measured, graceful movement of light passing against the backdrop of the house as it beams through the windows and dissolves into the walls. For many of us who live a fast-paced urban life of family, friend, career and civic responsibilities, it is this visual reminder to slow down, to pay attention to anchoring the body to the experience of the present moment, to bring one's awareness out of the head and into the heart, solar plexus, and feet--to plant oneself--that is such a potent inspirational starting point for creating an innermost life. I've loved the photos of the house in all its moods and the zen-like imagery of the food and the fire and the candles and YOU moving so gracefully and with such inward attention to your own movements. The teaching that IH offers is not really in your descriptive words (as absolutely wonderful as they are!), it is in the example you've shown in your video of how to move through a space without moving from your inner center at all, of how to interact with the environment with utmost respect for its own living, breathing quality as a reflection of your own self, and of how to live AS Presence. Just as much as IH is a mirror for all who pass through its doors (even in photo images!), so, too, are YOU a mirror for those of us who are still consciously and deliberately having to CHOOSE to bring our attention to Presence and dissolving our small selves into it instead of already just naturally moving from a constant state of Presence as you were born with.

    I absolutely adore what you write and how simply yet masterfully you convey the heart essence of a thing by drawing us so clearly into the actual experience without discursive commentary. Your descriptions so clearly capture what it means to feel the inherent sacredness of the world around us. Although I know that a book showcasing photos of IH would absolutely speak for itself, nonetheless I would still love to see several of your essays included. They add so much to a person's appreciation and understanding of what it means to live an innermost life because they're written from the stillpoint in the cave of your heart where Presence resides and this is where your words are received by the reader. Perhaps, however, they could be gathered together at the end of the photo essay part so that the initial experience of IH to a new visitor opening the cover of the book, would still remain an impactful, kinesthetic, bodily sensing of the palpable energy of IH.

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