The Walkabout Woman blog has been languishing. The truth is . . . I have been busy making a living.
The loss of my pension in February sent me off in a new direction, one with less time for writing or art. I am actually enjoying my foray back into the working world. I find meaning and value in the work I am doing.
I am also grateful for the previous months of solitude I spent in deep communion with myself.
Everything seems to come in its right time and place, but I am aware that I am living more on the surface of life now.
It is as though I am skating on a frozen pond, with just a thin sheet of ice between my busy everyday life above and the shadowy depths of my inner life below. I am relishing the frosty air on my cheeks and my strong graceful competent movements. I feel joy and exhilaration with this new slippery speed that sends me careening into contact with other people.
My months of solitude taught me a lot about the magic of being present — and I have not lost the habit.
As they say, “It’s all good.”
I joined a writing group made up of nine women – The Portland Nine. I am # nine, the new one. Each Thursday night, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, we gather, respond to 10 minute writing prompts and share what we have written.
There is a lot of freedom in this and I feel myself loosening up as the evening goes on. It is only with these women now that the sheet of ice cracks and I fall through to the depths below.
Sometimes when I am reading aloud, it touches a nerve and I cry.
And try as I might, I am unable to write a scrap of fiction or come up with the colorful adjectives or metaphors that the others do. I can only write plainly and starkly about myself or myself thinly veiled. In this group, however, I feel accepted and appreciated for my voice. I am only slightly embarrassed by my tears. The other women seem unperturbed, and the hostess just brings out the Kleenex.
What is profound for me is this — day by day, art or not, work or not (or maybe because of it), I am witnessing the unraveling of the tangled threads of my life. Sometimes my tears are from the relief of finally setting the burden down.
I bought a scroll for my wall which says:
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” Buddha
As I welcome in my own humanity and claim the wisdom of the crone that I am, the love I have received and given so far wells up inside me. I see that, in big and small ways, I am beginning to be able to love myself.