For the past month we’ve been packing and saying goodbye to our Seattle home and lives, fretting about our new home loan processes closing on time (which they didn’t, we closed December 24th instead of the 18th, which was a lot more stressful than it sounds), and then setting up our new home (the pirate house!), meeting new neighbors, and inviting some long-time friends out to christen the new home as officially our home.
I’ve done very little writing this month. I don’t count daily panicked “What’s happening with our closing?! Waah!!” email messages. Usually I write every day, so a month without writing feels a little like a month without breathing. Makes my chest hurt. But still, I’ve been learning…
I can now say about myself that when faced with a completely empty new home, a late night, move exhaustion, and what seems like a ton of boxes to unpack, that I unpack books first. First classics, then murder mysteries, then sci fi. Ah, the decadence of it! Food and toothbrushes and toilet paper be damned. It just doesn’t feel like home without books on the shelves. Dear friends these books. Besides, I kind of knew Daniel would prioritize the food and the TP.
With little time to write this month, I still found time to wander through a few book stores on my way to more “practical” places like the grocery store (no fast food near the new home—woot!), hardware store (you have to buy your own garbage and recycle cans here—weird), and pet food stores (Eva, Bella, Joe, and Batman wait for no one).
Local bookstores are emotionally, spiritually, and mentally practical for me. They’re like Disney Land, only way smaller and cooler. So every chance I got this month I walked through one on my way somewhere else.
Even with no time for writing, and too exhausted for reading, I learned a valuable lesson from my bookstore walks. For a writer who isn’t writing, book stores can also be very hard on the ego. Normally I wander the isles and touch the books and feel that I’m holding hands with a million friends. This time, tired, stressed, and not writing, a lone thought surfaced:
What could I possibly have to say that all these brilliant humans haven’t already said?
So today I’m back to writing, because that question wasn’t really my question.
That question was born out of exhaustion, frustration, and allowing who I really am to take a back seat to the “practical” for far too long.
Today, as I write, that question shortens and refines itself to smaller, steadier questions that sound more like me:
What can I say today?
Who do I want to be today?
What can that me do?
Just right now. Just today.
These questions, my true questions, are born out of experiencing myself as connected to the whole of creation.
Don’t worry. I’m a pirate now. We can say woo-woo shit like that and get away with it.
Today I’ve decided that we live this life of ours to figure out our own unique, intentional and conscious ways for connecting to the whole. For example, I can consciously connect to the whole by writing, by reading, by just touching people and books I love, and by walking on the beach, picking up rocks and shells, and putting toes to ocean. How about you?
Today on our morning walk, Eva attempted to swim out and retrieve a round, ball-like buoy. Oh city dog. She eventually lost her battle with its anchor and gave up with a salty smile and without a trace of regret. Later the universe sent her a pink balloon, with pink ribbons, drifting down the beach. It had escaped from somebody’s New Year’s Eve party. She was overjoyed. She brought it to me and we spun in happy, barking circles until it popped.
I hope your new year is filled with many walks and much happy spinning in circles with those you love. I hope when you lose your battles that you smile and move on without regret, knowing that a pink-balloon-level surprise is just around the corner for those who just let go.
Happy New Year friends!