Good morning blank page that is staring me down threatening to stay blank and thwart my efforts. Good morning crazy mind that rambles away down the path of dissatisfaction and concern. Good morning cool basement that is an oasis from continuing heat in the Denver area. Good morning happy dogs who sprawl out on the floor after a somewhat satisfying w-a-l-k down the Highline Canal trail (still marveling at this trail system in suburbia! It’s amazing).
The interesting thing about writing my blog has been that I don’t know where I am going. It’s like wandering in a car. Sometimes I head down peaceful country roads. Other times, I buzz down a highway at 90 miles an hour in a convertible eating bugs. Still others, I honk and swear as I am stuck in gridlock in sweltering city heat. I never quite know where I will go, how it will end up or how it will all come back together (or if it will). I have been willing to trust and to keep my fingers clicking away. 91,000+ words later, I have developed a small amount of faith that I will keep writing about this journey – for a while anyway. The new plan of one morning of blogging and the next dedicated to my re-write hasn’t quite launched as planned. Yesterday, I took the day off from all writing and celebrated the 4th with David by going to IKEA to plan our kitchen. I am so happy that he enjoys the design process as I do not. It is daunting and I don’t have strong opinions about the kitchen not being the gourmet chef and all. Does it have a coffee pot? Then we are good.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. Lou Holtz
I woke up worrying. Or did I start worrying once I woke up. In those early moments before getting out of bed and way before coffee, it’s hard to tell. What I can tell is how my 60 minutes of worrying between eye flutter and first sip of caffeine made me feel. Like poop.
To escape the blistering heat at our lovely trailer, we stayed the last two nights at the Highland Haven in downtown Evergreen. A lovely respite from reality, the Highland Haven is a high-end B&B built around an 1884 homestead. A small river runs along the property, towering spruce provide ample shade, the gardens are tended but not over manicured. Our room is lovely and dark and one might have thought I could have slept in - but oh no, I need to get up early enough to begin my worrying. Well-worn grooves of worry were my focus. Challenging relationships, the heat, fires burning across Colorado our future, where to do the laundry... It wasn’t until I walked back to my room with coffee in hand that it occurred to me that I might choose something else and start the day over. Some of us are slow learners.
Well… If I had written yesterday, I would have begun by crying out, “God hates me!”Now I know that isn’t completely true.And, I know everything could be a helluva lot worse.And, I don’t even know for sure there is a God to hate me afterall.Is anyone really up there watching over us?Does he or she reside within us?Does anything make any sense?Are my prayers heard?Are my curses ignored?Will I burn in hell – or are we all living in hell right now?All these questions and more would have tumbled from my fingers onto the keyboard…
After my debut performance as a stand-up comic on Tuesday night and the resulting freedom and exaltation that came from that, Wednesday was wonderful.I felt different as I drove to my weekly appointment with my therapist.The colors seemed brighter along the road – and don’t just tell me it’s cause they were brighter… My soul felt lighter and I thought I might have turned a corner.Proud of my progress through this trauma, my therapist acknowledged my inner resources and ability to rely on my many years of personal growth tools.I felt it too.Ahhhh.Life was shifting.
Mornings are my favorite. When I write, that is. What began as my first blog entry on April 5thhas now become my most reliable practice of self-soothing. Mind you, I don’t always feel soothed to write some of the angsty things I have shared but getting it out of the old squirrel cage and onto “paper” is definitely therapeutic. Some of my overall darkest days have been those when I haven’t written. Hmmmm. Doctor, do we see a pattern here? Typically entire days don’t occur as dark. As I shared, Monday wasn’t so bright. Mostly I am “good” in the morning. I like hearing the birds, I love sitting on my bed in Flame with my Mac serving as a portable heater warming my lap in the brisk morning air. The dogs are outside playing. We still have this dirt thing but in the morning I am not so daunted. It’s just what is so. We have acres and acres of dirt and soot and the dogs will get coated with it and we will have piles of towels to wash with no laundry facility in site. Just don’t ask me about the dirt at the end of the day…
Mostly, mid-day’s are good too. The sun shines, or it rains or the wind blows – which I must say is still a bit disturbing and these delicate plexiglass windows in Flame don’t seem like they can stand too much in the way of excessive stress and strain so I batten down the hatches and ride it out. But days are good. It’s when I start getting tired at the end of the day or whenever my mind says is the end of the day. I began getting hoarse around 5:30pm last evening and still had two groups of fabulous authors to support. I could hear the flatness in my voice, feel the fatigue in my system and just wanted to go to bed. My peeps inspired me by their perseverance and commitment to their own writing so I had just enough gas to be with them on the calls. Coaching authors is like the proverbial “you can lead a horse to water…” I can’t make them write. Yet, write, they are. They are engaged, finding their own voices and expressions – and they are sticking with the process. It is remarkable. They are remarkable.
Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about writing for a solid hour on a tele-seminar hosted by the fabulous Kym Coco. She inquired about my journey of becoming a writer; the benefits of a writing practice; how writing has changed my life; common beliefs that keep people from writing; and how writing could be an access to realizing our potential. I could have talked for hours on this subject and Kym masterfully pulled the points from my long-winded and passion-filled answers.
The day before I began writing my first book, Waiting for Jack, I was not a writer. And, it took me years to actually call myself a writer. I was becoming an author but being a “writer” seemed to be some elite category where I had to earn membership. And maybe that’s true. At some point in my journey, I began to call myself a writer. Now, in my blogging, I am getting close to the total word count of my first book. It took me 9 months to write that and I have only been doing this for 33 days... I have never been a proponent of speed-writing but I am seeing what is possible when the fire burns hot.
My mornings are a combination of checking email and Facebook, making coffee and sitting down to write.I used to treat my writing time as more of a “sacred space”. Not wanting to bring in any distractions, I would calm myself first, absolutely not check email or Facebook and sit down to write for my appointed time.I have abandoned this practice.Now, I jump around a little manically and still manage to write.
This morning, I explore the symptoms of PTSD and while on this track, I listen to Louis GK’s “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy”diatribe on Conan.F-ing brilliant!Edgy, real and making fun of all we hold precious.Because I laugh, does that mean I don’t have any PTSD symptoms?No, it doesn’t mean that.
Fortunately I have the ability to view my situation and myself objectively.I know the most important thing I can do is to be where I am, and not judge my process.I am pretty good at that.