I'm sitting at the base of a small mountain in a place I've never been.
I'm sitting at the base of small mountains all over the place.
I've been moving nonstop since August and haven't reported back. I'm going and going and going, knowing I need to make a move that for me is monumental, scared to death to do it, rolling over every possible (mostly horrible, obviously) potential outcome in my mind, worry stone synapses and rosary bead neurons.
When Mary Oliver asked what I was to do with my one wild and precious life, I doubt that this pattern of behavior would make it into the desired multiple choice options from A to ZZ. This is some nonsense right here. This is self-torture of an outstanding degree, my own personal lunatic fringe. If you were doing this, I would take you out for beers and tell you to run, run, run in the opposite direction from the insanity. I would tell you to go, consequences be damned, because wasting one more day on this was not advisable. I give excellent advice to other people.
My year began in water.
I stood in the cold shallows of an ocean I love for longer than seemed reasonable but I couldn't help it. I looked at the sky and couldn't stop crying, and thought in the cheesiest possible way but a way that my soul travels nonetheless that starting off this span of time here had to mean something good, right? It had to mean better? It was set up that way, anyway -- as a demarcation and an escape, a running to, not away, at all.
Seagulls are irksome birds but their cries among the waves are a peculiar kind of music, and I wanted to take that with me, too. I hear it in meditation when I finally get my mind to shut down, especially when I'm asked to visualize something that calms me, that makes me feel at home in myself.
When I'm particularly off my rocker I think that things like that -- sounds, pictures, words, signs -- can set me right. My burning bush is multimedia, I guess, and mostly invisible so far. It's a collection of minutiae that has answered no big question yet, and my signals are so crossed right now that even the ocean on a day that signifies the first of the next didn't make anything clear.
Normally when I walk down to the water to say a pitiful goodbye until the next time there is a second when I feel okay leaving that makes turning around possible, a natural end that did not occur this day. I had to force myself to go, to get in my car and go back into whatever was next. It didn't flow at all, which is typical lately.
There are oceans everywhere, the occasional mountain. I just wish sometimes the answers were clearer, that I could navigate these changes and questions and challenges with more grace and less hand-wringing, more quiet resolve than hysterical chatter and questions and reliance on the advice of my friends. It feels like, at 41, the path should be more obvious to the other side of things, especially things that aren't working, things that feel so difficult, that aren't on their surface life-threatening when I know that is the case for so many others.
But I can't and it's not, and I guess that just means I haven't done all the work yet, inside or out, to make that possible. Or maybe I haven't learned to accept the fact that sometimes the hardest is the simplest, that I have to let it be that way for it to be that way.
On the last plane I was on, I wrote "More joy" in my little red book, as an aspiration, I guess. I meant it. I don't know what it looks like, but I meant it when I said it. I dared to write it down. I think that is something of a start.