It’s only taken me five decades but I think I’ve finally mastered the art of knowing there’s not much to master. I suppose I could claim the title of Best Person To Remind You There’s a Full Moon or Champion of Nervousness but, overall, I find that true glory resides in not striving to be anything other than who I am. On a good day, I glide here and there, leaning into all of it, regardless. On a bad day, I snivel and scrunch and fret about everything that seems off kilter. My shiny reward is when I let go enough to stop worrying about the distorted unevenness and I tilt my head a bit to take in the pretty, crooked view.
Thelma the Thinker
Always, always, it’s been about finding a way to be. I semi-hate the word authentic but that’s what it boils down to. What I like, who I am, how I speak, write, feel—the specific way I choose to engage with and be in the world. Moving forward in a graceful way even while I’m hampered by all the times I’ve failed to do this. My daily, hourly question has and will continue to be “does the way I am cultivate more or less of me?”
So often, I pander. I try to coerce through urging or encouragement or rage. When I am able to walk that fine line of wanting to push my own agenda with allowing and accepting Other just as it is—these are the times when I hit the jackpot. These are the times when I’m able to feel peace.
I’ll be gone or a hundred and twenty by the time I figure all of it out but that doesn’t deter me from trying. I cling to wonder like it’s the thing that will save my heart. Early on, I’ve had the compulsion to make a difference. On some level that desire to make a difference circles back around to saving myself. If I make the world a better place then I will be safer. If I can convince myself and you to be kind, unphony, well, then maybe both of us will experience grace.
The ongoing lesson for me is that there is no productivity in maintaining a preoccupied stance with an outward gaze. The only way around is through. The revolution I’m looking for is quiet. And it doesn’t have to do with anyone other than me.
Yours In Navel Gazing,
I have these gorgeous little talismans I’ve collected along my way. Postcards, sentences and headlines I’ve cut out of magazines and newspapers, notebooks of all shapes and sizes filled with pages of words and phrases written neatly in them. Over the years, I’ve compiled droves of manifested resonance that remind me of love or hope or courage or contentment. Mostly, they remind me that I’m not alone. That, somewhere out there, a pair of hands took to the canvas or the paper and made something out of nothing.
Sometimes I try to picture the room the creator sat or stood in while they made that thing that would eventually become part of my collection. I like to imagine what the person wore, whether the sun was shining or if it was cold. I like to conjure up some sort of connection or thread that keeps me tethered to all the makers of the little masterpieces I’ve gathered, and in that way, I have the feeling that it’s not so much that I discovered them but that they somehow found their way to me.
As You Were,
Dear Manager of All Things Holy,
Hey listen, I know you’re as busy as the little people who keep J Lo’s boobs in place but if you can carve out a few minutes in your schedule I would deeply appreciate your guidance as I weave my way through the forest of my immaculate indecision as I approach 2016. For instance, I could use a strong body lift that enables me to see the expanse of my environment—beyond, below, above and across—so that I might see the potential magic that is in store for me. And, if you’re inclined to provide me with some sweet guidance, I would love to know and believe that I am on my true and righteous path. These are all sincere requests and they are all a result of my beloved longing to grow and be and discover who I really am, so if you have two seconds in between managing world chaos and tending to the upheaval about soy, I would be eternally grateful and just plain gleeful if you would lend your omnipotence to my worthy and buoyant cause, gracias, amen you may be seated.
When my birthday rolls around, I tend to think of it as a time to review the landscape of my life. Like my own personal New Year, I review and study and dream about what, exactly, is included in the environs of my everyday existence. I tend to prefer a quiet day when I think about the day I arrived here, years ago. I tend to think on what is good and true and real—how I have created this life for myself and my companions. How I have cultivated my resilient nature and taken so many things in stride. How I love heartily those who are most important to me. And then I wonder where my bumpy and gorgeous path will lead me. I wonder if I’ll ever arrive at the destination that I am headed. Then I remind myself that the only destination is the moving forward, the fighting for what I know to be grand—the adventures, the days when I feel peaceful and content, the parts of me that never want to stop reaching for what I know to be beauty, what I know to be good. The part of me that thinks about who I am and appreciates the place that I’ve come to where I can say, “I’m so happy I was born.”
Cheers To the Glory of Existence,
Gertrude of the Grateful