It is unbearably hot and strong, furnace-like winds have melted away any ambitions beyond reaching for a popsicle and making our way to the swimming pool after Cowgirl gets home from school.
My drying rack is handling heavy duty laundry as the Husband just returned from a 5 week adventure away from home to make an independent film. Didn't you hear me bitchin' about all the yard work, double-shift parenting and dog walking duties? I think I was too exhausted to complain. It's good to have him home ... although I may need a second drying rack ... laundry hanging being a wonderful opportunity to shift through some more brain lint ...
I just heard what sounded like banjo music coming from our bachelor neighbor's backyard. For a brief moment I thought "He must be learning to play!" I don't know why such an idea sent a frisson of excitement through me ... perhaps it is my own ukulele ambitions and the notion of neighborly support or a local folk band forming.
I play a mean "You Are My Sunshine" and "Puff the Magic Dragon" ...
What struck me today was the fact that my work - MY WORK - as such appears to have settled into writing. Which I find fascinating and amusing in an ironic sort of way because any writing assignment for college or grad school had me parked close by the toilet; the anxiety impacting my digestive system along with my nervous system (I had a little bout of Trichotillomania - the irresistible urge to pull one's hair out - while writing my master's thesis; a river stone in the palm of my hand became my self-soothing device.) Although I found writing term papers draining, I was always exhilarated by the end result of gathering up the muddle that is my mind and formulating some sort of coherent perspective. I was often surprised to realize "I know all that?"
I think that is what the poet David Whyte means when he talks about the creative process as coming to the edge of our understanding about oneself and the world, and taking the courageous step into uncharted territory. He talks about the call to commit to the necessary, central conversation which involves voluntarily stepping into the space of our unknown, dropping the armor of identity and risking the discovery that who we are is not what we know - not a static being - but one that is constantly evolving, growing, shedding, dissolving and re-forming as we engage in the conversation of living.
This is what brings me back to writing - and at other times in my cycle, painting or photography or art journaling. As taxing as this process is - wandering through my thoughts and words and fragments of ideas - each time I willingly take this journey, I find myself inhabiting new ground. The process of shifting through ideas, feelings and beliefs and seeing where the internal meanderings leads me is exciting beyond description. It is akin to a rollercoaster ride that lifts me up, drops me down and when I am least ready for it, spins me upside down. Maybe that is my way - needing to be shaken up to allow what has been buried or hidden to rise to the surface.
For as much as I seem to like using lots of words, writer is not how I identify myself. (Just as someone who eats a lot of cookies isn't a baker.) Creative Explorer or Adventurer may be more accurate; perhaps I need to watch Bear Grylls for some vital tips and inspiration?
(I am riding waves of excitement as I shift through material for my upcoming offering The Gift of Practice. I hate self promotion, but each day I sit down to wrestle with the material and my experiences, I finish feeling more enthusiastic and committed to the practice of showing up for my life and my creative self. I have been busying recording interviews with some of my favorite people and am steeping myself in the richness of those conversations. While my bank account may not be flush, I am feeling very full and rich with such inspiration fueling me onwards. If you feel curious or called to commit to yourself in a vital way, I hope you will consider joining the virtual gathering. Further information and details can be found here.)