It's been awhile. I'm sorry. I've been away.
I've been both beached and floating, treading water and taking powerful strokes.
I've been nowhere at all and I've come a long way. But I haven't known what to write to you. I'm not sure how to describe this adventure because I'm still on it.
I've been doing good, small things, creating gentle motions that barely stir the air but are a hurricane.
One of the good, small things: I've created a ritual of listening to podcasts while I bathe our daily parade of dishes, trying (not quite successfully) to turn this necessary task into a welcome meditation.
One episode I've listened to several times now - hands tumbling rainbow-coloured cups as they multiply on the counter - is an interview of Glennon Doyle by the Good Life Project’s Jonathan Fields, in which she shares these words:
"When we're ready to present what we've learned to the world as a gift, then we offer it as art...If you want to be an artist...you cannot ask the world to save you. Your job is to serve them. So wait until you have something to serve."
Yes. Yes yes yes, I say to the sink. Another good, small thing: I haven't stopped talking completely. I chat with the bubbly locals.
I think I’m too far in whatever-this-is to write about it. I'm an undercover agent and my investigation is incomplete. I can't write about the big things right now because I can't take in the whole view. I see the toes of the big things. I see the knees. But beyond that, there's just an expanse above and around and inside me that takes up the whole frame. Like those magnified picture games in magazines. What Is It? I don't know quite yet. I'm not ready to present yet. I'm still waiting for something to serve.
What I know is that the big things are good things, too. What I know is that it felt like my muse left me these past two years and I made a radical choice: I decided not to chase it. I decided to have faith that it would return when the time was right. When there were things to say. I felt patience, and I’ve developed a self-compassion that I've never felt before. I've had some low days but my curiosity never left me. My love for myself and this life and for making art never left me. There just aren't any words for the big things yet. The plates are shifting, and I'm waiting for the words to describe the earthquake.
What I know is that I feel more like myself than ever before, and I'm moving closer and closer to the life I want. I know that I feel happy, and it's a slippery sort of happiness but I'm gaining a better grip on it because of the small changes I've been making in my life that are the strokes pulling me through the water to the shore. And my muse seems to be curious about these changes, too. It has been tentatively sidling up to me lately and I've tried to avoid making any sudden moves so I don't scare it off. While I'm laying in this quiet wait for the big things to come into full view, I'm inviting the muse in to write about all the good, small things, because lately...I've been wishing you were here. I like travelling solo but I'm eager to tell you about the scenery.
I'll be writing you some postcards here. Describing the wrinkled toes in detail. The knobby knees. The regional customs. The rare finds. The gargoyles on this new cathedral. Just the gargoyles right now. I can't see the cathedral yet but I have a feeling it's pretty spectacular.
Postcards aren't hard to write, muse. We got this.
Thank you for your patience, and for being curious enough about me and my absurdly-metaphor-stuffed writing to come back to read more of it, or to give it a go for the first time. I'm looking forward to sharing some good, small things with you. Let's start there. I'd also love to hear about how you've been and what adventures you've been on.
Life sure is wild, isn't it? But life sure is beautiful, isn't it?
See you soon,