Ambiguity is a word that has surrounded much of my life recently. What is going to happen next? Where will I be teaching? What to name the new somatic technique I’m developing? Should I move to another part of the world? How do I create my dream business?


I feel like so much and so little is happening all at the same time. So many unknowns and so many questions! It’s unsettling.  I have definitely not been in my comfort zone. Plus I had started to see ambiguity in everything.


Last weekend while on a long walk, I even found ambiguity in an open car door. As I passed an isolated house in the country town I live in, I saw the owner’s car in the driveway. The driver’s door had been left wide open and no one was in sight. As I walked by, I found myself wondering whether I should close the door for the owner. After all it would be the neighborly thing to do. What if the battery ran down because the door had been forgotten and accidentally left open?


But as I moved off the road towards the driveway, I suddenly realized how presumptuous I was being. How could I know why the door had been left open? Just because I initially saw the open door as a matter that needed to be resolved didn’t mean that it was an accident. Maybe the door had been left that way intentionally. By closing it, I might even be creating a problem.


In that moment, the open car door became a metaphor for me. I realized that ambiguity doesn’t have to be a negative experience. How often have the most exhilarating and creative moments come from an unknown place while I have been choreographing? If each measure of music has rigidly been preplanned, where is the space for the sudden inspiration? What is improvisation, if not taking advantage of ambiguity? Novel images and concepts thrive on the unfamiliar. Art, by its nature, is ambiguous since each viewer has an individual and unique interpretation.


I had been looking for concrete and immediate answers to questions about my life. Because I had forgotten that innovation and creativity often require letting go of concrete and immediate answers, I had twisted myself into an uncomfortable zone.


By the time I returned home from my walk, I had regained a sense of balance. The current amount of ambiguity in my life might be high but by embracing it, I can stay alive to the potential inspiration and innovation found in it. Let it flow!


© 2010 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.