Yesterday evening, I decided to go sit by the ocean and write a letter to Aimee. I have been struggling to write lately — whether for work or pleasure or simple log-keeping. A couple of times, I posted up at a bar with a glass of bourbon, pledging to put pen to paper and nothing happened.
By the water, with the sun setting, I found myself writing, “I want to be open to love, open to emotion. I want to regain the energy to grow and change and not feel so worn out all the time.”
And as the words came out, I felt a queasy recognition. How long have I been saying the same thing? I think back on when I first started writing this blog, during the Art Farm days, and reread “So the reason I want to start this blog is to reconnect with my old feelings about art, to highlight the artists that I believe in and to document my life among the artists. I am the one having the identity crisis, I suppose, and I want to fix it somehow.”
Sometimes my roommate Rob and I talk about progress. We discuss what it’s like to know better — and yet still slip into the same patterns.
There was something in the air last summer that made me feel like I could make a fresh start. And here I am basically longing for the space (and the people) who could make me feel the same way.
Rebecca Solnit writes in “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” that “the things we want are transformative, and we don’t know or only think we know what is on the other side of that transformation. Love, wisdom, grace, inspiration — how do you go about finding these things that are in some ways about extending the boundaries of the self into unknown territory, about becoming someone else?”
How do we grow into something that we have yet to discover? How do we become a new person, one we haven’t met yet — and what does that look and feel like?
“Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark,” Solnit writes. “That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from and where you will go.”
She encourages tiptoeing across the borders of uncertainty.
“To be lost is to be fully present and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery,” she writes.
The cadence of the sentence, for some reason, reminds me of lyrics to a Stevie Wonder song, “A seed’s a star/ A seed’s a star’s a seed/ A star’s a seed/ A star’s a seed’s a star.”
And as my friend, writer Carmella Guiol Naranjo reminded me on the phone yesterday, it’s a new moon and it’s spring time — it’s a good time to plant seeds, a good time for new beginnings and reaching out to stars.
Aimee and I contemplate the stars, then we consider taking a plunge in the lake . . .
3 thoughts on “Chosen surrenders”
i love this reminder. I, too, have bee struggling. The words are slipping. Slippery and unpronounceable. Sometimes I fear starting, for fear of it ending. (Again).
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#Rich, timely #werds. It’s funny because I just checked on this caterpillar I discovered in the garden yesterday. He was enjoying his leaf breakfast and getting all plumps for the upcoming transformation. I was wondering how much he knew about becoming a butterfly — if he’s just driven by instinct to change, or if he actually knows it’s going to be incredible to fly. Either way, he’s not letting anything stop him. Just plugging away! #YewCanDewIts!!! #butterysinspiration
I just saw your caterpillar pic too! Thanks Gemma!!