The wind is making the trees dance in the setting sun. Spinning seeds find their way to me from an empty sky It is not quiet, yet it is peaceful. When this type of breeze makes my hair caress my arms and strands cross my face, I feel as if I must be important, strong. There is no booming, no cracking or roaring. Instead the power is quiet, soft and still beautiful.
I wonder if the wind has ever known where it’s going. As far as I can tell, it just goes. I want to be like the wind; beautiful in my collected chaos, freely fulfilling my purpose, not worried about where I’m headed.
Though my dreams and aspirations have become somewhat fuzzy these days, I realized that a core desire still remains.
My “what do you want to be when you grow up” answer has ranged from being a mother, to being an event coordinator, to being an author, to teaching English in Japan. Realizing that I currently don’t know what I want to do and that my interest in any previous 5 year plan has flatlined, is both discouraging and confusing.
Years ago, one of my dear cousins and I were looking for locations to do photo shoots. Various abandoned buildings presented themselves but one lives in my memory, solid, to this day. It was the most beautiful brick instrument factory. Sun reflected off of the large multi-glass pane windows, vines climbed the exterior elevator and the sturdy front door: stained glass window and rich finish on the dark wood, provided contrast to the pavement and metal. It was for sale. We dreamed of buying it and renovating the inside to be full of conduits for potential. There would be various bedrooms, a library, a professional level kitchen, a music studio, art studio, dance studio, workshop and room for more. The building was large. The vision was that people with cohesive personalities and interests could live there in community and create through the different avenues. It would be our place. Of course neither of us had much money at the time and the lot was bought by someone else. I don’t know what became of that building. I’d like to think that the new owner did something beautiful with it instead of knocking it down and building cookie cutter condos. In my mind, it is what we dreamed it could be.
My more recent idea for a small business, I’ve realized, would fit into that fantasy as well. I want to create experiences for people who, like me, are stuck in the 9-5 grind and wish they could live a different life, but can’t. Boxed escapes brought to you not just by me, but by partnering with local artists and other small business creators. One of the reasons it hasn’t happened is because it requires a massive amount of prep, organization, community and time. A different dear cousin is visiting me this weekend and she spoke of her roomate, an author who “collects” other artists. People supporting and working with each other, like minded, creating beautiful elements that, as a whole, reach the desired outcome. It brought me back to that dream of the abandoned instrument factory.
Admittedly, these particular people don’t fit what society deems normal or typical but there is a richness in individuals working to understand each other and support growth, even painful, in each other. It’s not something that I’ve felt comfortable sharing here before but I am what some call neurodivergent. It roughly means that my brain doesn’t work the typical way. There are a lot of people who fit into that descriptor and it’s still highly stigmatized. When we are able to share with like-minded individuals, unafraid to be ourselves, it is so beautiful. Safety to exist as you actually are in a community is not something that everyone has the occasion to value on the same level. Meaning, if you fit into societies expectations, you aren’t consistently putting energy toward presenting yourself in a way that is comfortable for others.
I may not know my solid, attainable dream for my future right now but I do know that having the support from people who understand me, and the ability to create and essentially share my heart with people in that way, that’s the dream.
I was forced to think about loss of life actively yesterday, not just in passing news or a circle of people I used to be part of. Repeating that I am someone who cares quite a bit about many things, there’s a certain apathy that I employ to cope with constant pain in this world. Multiple instances of loss of life were thrust into my main focus and my heart just aches. It physically hurts in my chest.
For those that don’t know,
Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as kintsukuroi (金繕い, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquerdusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-etechnique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise
Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated… a kind of physical expression of the spirit of mushin….Mushin is often literally translated as “no mind,” but carries connotations of fully existing within the moment, of non-attachment, of equanimity amid changing conditions. …The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identification with, [things] outside oneself.
Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics
There’s a storm brewing. I can feel it in the air as I right my toppled zucchini plant. It’s warm, windy, and the wildness creeps into my bones. I want to be wild and free like the flying leaves; soak up the adrenaline and be at fiery peace.
Tomorrow, my favorite weekend escape opens. I can be another version of me in a different world. Going to Renaissance Festival has always given me that feeling, the one I can’t quite put into words.
My imagination is renewed and a match held to the wick of my creative spirit. Maybe it’s that I don’t have to be what most people want me to be. Keeping to myself offends no one and I can slip between groups of people like a shadow, all the while taking in such delicious details.
I’m a little afraid of my excitement. A lot has changed since I was last able to attend, and I’m afraid it won’t infect me with that restful, childlike inspiration.
Do you ever get scared by being excited for something, just hoping it is as wonderful as you remember it?
Have a lovely weekend strangers and friends. Here’s hoping you get to revisit pleasant dreams and fall asleep to the sound of a storm.
Getting last minute approval to leave your windowless office job early on a Friday feels oh so lovely, like you’re getting away with something as you step into the sun, removing your facemask. I’m sitting on the slab of cement cherished as my patio. Partially shaded, but with the warmth soaking into my legs from the rock, covered by my skirt. A loud crunch/pop sound breaks the songs of crickets as I open a cold can of V8 juice. I’m trying to have more vegetables in my diet and I already treated myself to a creamy nitro cold brew, laced with salted caramel this morning. Normally I don’t spring for nitro but it truly had a different flavor, richer and darker than the regular.
It’s the perfect day as far as weather goes. A cool clear, morning growing from the low seventies to the low eighties with a breeze shushing through the leaves of the trees. Come to think of it, it’s probably frogs, not crickets I’ve been hearing, since it’s not yet evening. Either way, I’m not worried. Normally I would be, thinking about my never ending list of things to do and accomplish but I’m happy, at peace just existing for a change.
Whatever kind of week you’re coming out of, I hope that you’re able to experience peace in the ordinary beauty of life.
Whenever I saw signs for the “scenic route” while driving, I was never interested. Only more recently have I found the value of taking the road not suggested by GPS as the fastest or most direct. What a map or navigational system can’t see is what one can gain from going that way.
Taking the long way home, shifts my brain from rush to reflection. I wouldn’t have even seen the sunset spreading across the sky if I had taken the direct route. I wouldn’t learn all that I am if I was already in sight of my destination.
Not every trip is meant to hold that extra few miles but sometimes those extra few miles hold something precious, otherwise missed. I know, I’m being very vague and cryptic but this is the thought that struck me. Being told that I don’t have the same timeline for my life as everyone else, has never had a pleasant ring to it. Patience is a virtue but I never asked for practice.
Maybe what I’m trying to say, is that I’m still alright, even though I can’t see home. Though I am wandering, I’m just taking the scenic route. If my life followed the timeline that I see so many others following, maybe I would miss that gorgeous sunset. What am I missing by not paying attention to or valuing this extra stretch of road?
You’re not wrong, if you’re on a different path than me, a straight shot to the top. I hope though, that you’re able to take moments into your own hands and hold them. Give yourself the freedom to take the long way home; literally or figuratively.
Hello friends and strangers, I must apologize for my extended absence. Life has been complicated lately. I know, when is it not. Battling burnout at my job, taking a wonderful trip from which I had to return, exhaustion and getting sick, focusing on my immediate space instead of the cerebral, and quite frankly, lack of wonder and inspiration in my everyday life; these are the things I blame for my lack of posting.
My eating and sleeping have been most impacted. Vivid dreams leave me tired and confused when I wake up. Interest in food or the energy to make it are in short supply.
This morning though, staying home to stream church instead of exposing people to whatever my body is fighting, I found that pocket of contentment. Nothing is perfect. I dropped my beautiful cheese toast face down on the rabbit-fur-covered rug. My stomach is still upset, but I was able to enjoy sitting on the ground by the windows, soaking up the sun indoors, since the smoke from Canada has impacted air quality. The black berries and crisp pickle slices, that escaped the fall, were refreshing and Clove convinced me to hand over some of the fur-covered toast, allowing me to fit in a few smoothings of her velvety soft fluff. No, things are far from perfect but, life can still be good.
I was taught to smile at everyone. You never know what kind of day they are having, what they are going through, or the impact a simple smile could have.
I still smile at almost everyone. If I can make even a small difference that way, it’s worth it.
Looking in the mirror today, tired, I smiled at myself. Then realized, I don’t remember the last time I genuinely smiled at me; not a pose for a picture, not customer service, not a reaction to someone or something else but instead extending that kindness inward.
Self love, worth, and identity are lifelong struggles for a lot of people on varying levels, whether it’s body issues, awkwardness, trauma or circumstances. I don’t have everyday solid advice, since humans are very complex with varying situations.
But, can you do me a favor, dear friends and strangers? Can you smile at yourself like you would a stranger, friend, or family member? Please be kind to yourselves.
The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.
This blog originally, was meant to push me towards my dreams. Those dreams seem both unclear and out of reach these days. I know I’m making progress, have things that I’ve dreamt of, and if I put in the effort and work, more could happen. I don’t know what is wrong. It’s like I’m stuck in a cycle of not belonging in my own life. That sounds crazy when you say it out loud but no other description quite seems to fit; always feeling out of place in my own existence.
Having time to rest, as well as get things done this weekend, has left me motionless. It’s not a comfortable lack of movement. Instead, I have no interest in things that, even a few hours ago I was excited about.
I started working on cutting out squares for a memory quilt of t-shirts that I no longer wear. It was really fun at first, taking up most of my focus, even hiding the fact that I needed to eat lunch. But as each new piece brought up memories, my mental energy and excitement from finally working on this project drained; processing multiple aspects of the times past. Being a very sentimental person doesn’t seem to have an advantage at any point in time. There’s a large chunk of time that I miss how things were, though they were hard. This is a different hard I guess.
Maybe it’s because a milestone birthday is coming up for me and I don’t see the change that I want to. Maybe it’s the fact that the things I want and don’t have, won’t “fix” this.
Anyone else experiencing a strange, empty, stuck feeling as we are slowly coming out of the pandemic? The general public that I attempt to assist during the week at my job, definitely appear to have been affected. Almost no one seems to be able to process the changes happening without taking out stress and frustration on others. I digress.
There it is: Existential crisis, a world in crisis, frustration with myself for having a hard time despite everything I’m blessed with. As I’m coming up on a new decade of my life, do you have any tips for a future that seems so uncertain? If you have felt the way that I am, what helped you?
Thank you for sitting with me, friends and strangers.