Fruits of hard labor...

I've been digging deep, working through some hard stuff lately. Just HOW hard came to light earlier today when I discovered a top ten list of focus areas/intentions/goals from several months ago.  So much of the list seems to lack depth or real meaning, as if I were just killing time with tasks and light foci until something important enough came along to shake me awake.  And maybe it was.  And I definitely am now.  

It's funny, isn't it, how when we feel a hole inside us, an undefined emptiness, we look so hard to find a way to fill it with some external thing...?  (Or maybe this is just me!)  I tried anything I could think of -- self-medicating, distraction, thinking some wonderful thing or somewhere new might be the answer....I even (not-quite-consciously) blamed others for stealing some spark from me, for nicking the contentment or certainty I once had.  But none of those things worked.

It took a major crash to put real change in motion.  A burning lightning-bolt-through-the-gut kind of hit that left me not wanting to even eat, caffeinate, anti-depress, or ramble to my inner circle about it.  Nothing felt good.  No crutch seemed even close to bearing the weight of it. So everything stopped -- even, it seemed, time (I felt like I was in the fifth level of a dream in Inception for about a week there).

And in the vacuum of all those things I was no longer doing, new things rushed in.  Better things, mostly.  

Since being in my head often felt unbearable, I decided to try to be more in my body.  I started working out, more to shake off anxiety than anything else.  I'd known for months that I needed more regular exercise, yet I didn't do it.  Wouldn't do it.  But something moved me to begin.  And though I occasionally was that odd woman looking ready to cry on the eliptical machine or spinning bike, it eventually began to do something.  To move my internal energy around and shift stuff that has seemed stuck for a long time.  To strengthen both my physical self and my resolve, too.

I also returned to the practice of 'morning pages' (and afternoon and evening pages).  Just writing the shit out of it.  Pages upon pages of pulling at threads which once felt too sacred to tug, unravelling the tangles of my life so thoroughly that there's a real chance to completely reweave the whole thing.  And this new fabric-of-being feels like it can hold new strength and purpose, and better fit to who I am and who I'm becoming, which is such a critical glimmer of hope.  A 'sparkle in the fields at rest'...  

And the other unexpected thing is that after months (years?) of relative silence, I'm hearing and writing songs again. They're coming fast and furious, and somehow I'm in a place again to steward them into life, which makes me incredibly thankful. Some of them are really unlike work I've done before -- they're angry or sarcastic or they include profanity (in a tongue-in-cheek way, but wouldn't I still have to put a Parental Advisory sticker on my CD?  Oh lord.) -- but they're honest.  Raw.  Where I am. Where I have, apparently, needed to be for a while.  

I feel a little like I did when writing most of my "More Perfect World" record in 1998(?).  Melancholy.  Detached, but observant. Deeply flawed, messily human, and ridiculously willing to reveal my inner stuff.  I was doing a lot of music for "Dawson's Creek" then, and the show was a perfect foil to hide behind, thematically...these could be my thoughts and emotions, or they could be working from the teenage angst of the characters, right?  Well, let's set the record straight on that one:  all me.  Just apparently stuck in teenage-angst-y me, at an exceptionally convenient time for those songs to slot into place on the emotionally-driven show.   I am realizing a really good, successful, emotional show for these new songs would be very helpful.  I look forward to your suggestions.  :)

In any case, a new record has begun to take shape, and I'm very curious to see how it will flesh out.  I'm working hard to let things come through as they may, to not censor myself in the writing at all, which at this point is freaking me out a little (and may freak out a couple other people along the way too), but it's so good to feel creatively alive and in motion again.  

I hope you are feeling the same way, finding your own way, with new illumination and clarity about whatever you wish to uncover in those shadows we all know sometimes. 

Five things I'm thankful for today:
1.  The two dozen pink & red roses and two pretty candles on the piano.  Daisy said, "Mom!  The piano looks beautiful!  It's like a wedding!"  :)
2.  That Thanksgiving is coming and we're in a place/time/state of mind to recognize how thankful we really are (and should be) for our life and each other.  
3.  That Mark's sculpture looks SO cool and has come together exactly as he imagined.  (or at least as he described it to me..!)
4.  All the warm birthday wishes and wonderful, thoughtful, generous gifts I received earlier this month.
5.  That I feel able to act on inspiration with a sense of priority and clarity, after a long stretch of feeling largely directionless and uncertain. 



1 comment

  • Susan Bernardo

    Susan Bernardo

    Oh, yes...I'm starting to feel adrift a little myself --and know that the anchor is to feed my creativity, dance and dream, get the cobwebs out of my head so ideas can flow through there...and then DO IT. Thanks for the reminder that everyone has fallow periods...but that prepares the soil and allows new things to germinate ... Gratitude!

    Oh, yes...I'm starting to feel adrift a little myself --and know that the anchor is to feed my creativity, dance and dream, get the cobwebs out of my head so ideas can flow through there...and then DO IT. Thanks for the reminder that everyone has fallow periods...but that prepares the soil and allows new things to germinate ... Gratitude!

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