We need to learn to be kinder to ourselves. We need to listen to what our bodies tell us, if we’re tired, over taxing ourselves, we know, but in this here world we often don’t listen. We need to do what is right. For ourselves. Better things happen when we do.
I’ve begun getting up at 5 am to write because my brain works better in the morning than at night and the house is quiet save for the mewling cat that runs to my side begging for a scratch. I make coffee and notice the daylight in increments. If the writing is going well, I don’t notice the light until the red of a cardinal splashes past my eye breaking fast on the black oil sunflower seeds we’ve put out near the arborvitaes.
My husband is working a lot, so much so that autumn will cruise past him and smash into winter like a car spinning doughnuts into a thick Wisconsin snowbank. We miss him desperately in times like this, then he will go and forget his lunch and we will drive food to him and sit in the open, oddly relaxing break room where he works and talk and laugh and ask for bites even though we’ve only just finished our own lunches at home. Azy will scale him like a mountain. Ivy will insist he teach her a new game.
In the last week I’ve seen more friends than I have in some time. I wonder if the changing of seasons bring us together. I wonder where they are when we’re not sitting around a campfire talking too loudly in the middle of the night hoping my neighbors don’t overhear our inappropriate commentary. When most of your friends are artists and writers and brilliant partakers-of-life you don’t tend to talk about the weather. Unless it starts raining frogs. There are things to be said about raining frogs.
On Wednesday we burned journals, watched them curl under the flames in stacks, the paper holding tight its ink until it’s singed and disappears. We had to keep poking the pages that didn’t want to go–sheet after sheet uncovered, two words swiped back from the flames, three words, gone. There are more books upstairs waiting for the pyre. They embarrass me, good work I’m ready to let go.
What is worth keeping is kept.
Sending away a journal doesn’t erase time or lessen the impact of the past, it offers space and newness. It’s a haircut, a pruning of words, a snip of the unnecessary. The point of all those journals was to write and to have written. It was finding the trust to let the words land and in having landed to be cast off. I think of writing as a constant shucking–ideas one after another taken away in search of the center self, the fragile core where the true voice whispers asking for a bit of kindness.
I didn’t want to say this, but I’m going to have to take a break from the Throw Me Thursdays for a bit. I really, really have other writing projects that need to be done and, well, it’s been a challenge. I hope to be back before the end of October, but if not, let’s do Nano together. It’ll be fun, yeah?