I had a to write an email the other day. Not a work email, but an important one. I drafted it for two days. I spent those two days distracted and in a fog – consumed with the crafting of just the right words, just the right way.
When I finish a piece I am hit with a dose of euphoria – something about the power of creation and release.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a piece. So pressing send on that carefully developed email brought me the same surge.
I am so sure of who I am when I’ve spent time in words. And the whole world is soft and electric and woven and okay. Even the most wrenching things are as they should be so that everything can be what it is so that everyone can be who they are so that the Divine can work it’s magic over the whole thing.
I am two different people. The woman who writes and the woman who doesn’t.
The woman who doesn’t write has de-cluttered her whole house and has made a year’s worth of excel sheet budgets. She has been researching emergency preparedness. Her shoulders are tight and she is often tired and concerned and exhausted and overwhelmed but she is doing all the right things as much as possible. She’s not hitting her marks on all the things, but you know, she’s definitely making a good effort. She has a lot of lists and plans and calendars. She’s not very alive but she keeps thinking that if she can just get things right then she will be able to really enjoy things and maybe feel like herself again. She has a vision for her life, it just seems completely unattainable. But she’ll keep trying. She’s grateful for all the good things in her life but she’s also susceptible to the idea that she needs more – more space and money and time and things. She’s striving because she’s believing that a good life for herself and her family is up to her to to create and maintain. Sometimes she just can’t keep up but if she could just tweak a few things…
And then there is the woman who writes – who spends days in a fog of thought, in a separate but overlapping world – the one one existing invisible in the midst of the one we are all walking around in every day. She is in two places at once but she is really somewhere just beyond what you can actually see. She is working the words until they are right. She produces something at the end of it, but maybe nothing that is of any use to anyone right away, maybe it is of no use to anyone ever except her own self for that moment. Maybe the work of writing was just a conversation between herself and God that just didn’t fit into a 15 minute quiet time. She is not always very prepared or organized but she is very alive. She’s awake. She’s connected. She’s filled with a light and a force that is almost palpable when she walks into a room. She puts off things so that she can be. That’s right, she lets other things go just so that she can exist unencumbered by deadlines and rules and people and things get kind of screwed up but sometimes they also work out. It’s scandalous.
She let things fall away so she could do her work- not the work some company pays her for, but the actual work of her life, but sometimes the things that fall away are important and you can never get your time back.
So either way, there seems to be some loss. Or is there?
I have maybe believed some lies about what I should be doing, how I should be living, how I should be spending my time.
I tasted that breath of life again and I want more. I want to trust that when you are doing the actual work of your life, the universe will meet you where you are.
I am penitent that I have let my heart believe anything else.
This world is full of chaos and tragedy and people who want to believe they can prevent it, fix it, avoid it, save themselves and those they love from it. And then there are people who want to sell you all the things and ways to do that. There is no foolproof life. But it is maybe a fools errand to spend our lives trying.
There is meaningful holy work in the day to day of life – working, paying bills, raising children, trying. I now know this to be true.
But there is also meaningful holy work in letting the spirit lead the day in ways that may accomplish the celestial more than the practical.
God just has to be big enough to fill in the cracks, right? The cracks we will leave in our day, our work, our finances, our parenting, our marriage, our friendships. We leave the cracks anyway, don’t we? Even trying our very hardest.
As of today, I’ve been here 34 years. I have been both women at various times but I have never been both women at the same time. I’d like to see about trying that this year.