We have some fairly unusual traditions in our family. One of those traditions, which others tend to find perplexing, is our habit of moving holidays around to days that are more convenient for us. I think it started a couple of years after we got married. We spent the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving helping a mom and her four children find safety in a shelter for battered women, several counties away. It was 2:00 in the morning by the time we got home. Bill and I looked at each other and said, in unison, “Thanksgiving on Friday!” and fell into bed.
It’s been a challenging week in my corner of the world. A lot of the challenges fit into the category of annoying or inconvenient. Things to breathe through and, hopefully, chuckle about later.
Some of them were much bigger! The kind of reality shocks that require a tremendous amount of pondering and contemplating. The kind that cause me, at least, to stop and really consider what I believe. And for me, that takes a bit of shoring up.
Hi! It’s me, Sarah!!!
Mom’s doing that thing she calls writing again. It must be fun because she sure does a lot of it.
Sometimes I kind of wish she’d do a little less. She doesn’t really want to play football with me when she’s writing and she says, “Wait, please,” a lot. I know those words!
Right now she’s writing about soup. She says that’s why the house smells so good. I like soup. Sometimes she makes me some of my very own. It has things I’m not allergic to in it. (Whatever that means!) And it’s supposed to help my back and hips feel better. Mom said she’d even put the recipe for my soup in her book. Maybe I’ll be famous!
I would imagine you’ve noticed that it’s been a crazy week in the world. Well, many weeks and months, I guess. Years, even…
There are all the routine attention grabbing things in life. New ways of eating. A lot more shopping. Sarah, our Newfie, got stung by a bee, right in the corner of her eye. She’s fine now. (Really!) Things to write. Things to edit. Things to plan. Things to read. Things to wash and water and fix. A new mailbox to install. (The door fell off the old one.) And a different door that suddenly doesn’t close right. Soup to make. Appointments to keep. Travel schedules. Well, you get the point.
Then there are the big things for so many of us. The truck bombing in Nice. The racial issues we face as a nation of human beings. The political chaos that is running rampant in America. Hunger. Violence. Homelessness. Bigotry of all kinds. Climate change. This morning, Baton Rouge, again. And on and on and on.
It’s happening! My “soup book” is hatching!!!
Ok, I would have preferred that it hadn’t decided to hatch at 4:00 in the morning! And I have some other things on my list, just now. But there it was, just cracking open the shell in my brain, insisting that I get up and write down the key phrases that had come to me.
I’ve been writing for a pretty long time now and I’m learning to trust my process. Writing doesn’t seem to work for me like it does for lots of other authors. (At least not for most of the ones who write books about writing!) I do write most days. Mostly by hand in a spiral bound artist’s sketch book with comforting, thick, heavy paper that takes the ink from my micropoint markers just right. Usually during my first morning cup or two of tea. (Which has recently become hot water with lemon!)
If you know about the book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, you’re familiar with the notion of “morning pages.” Three pages, by hand. Every morning. Stream of consciousness. No editing as you go. Spelling doesn’t count! Just scribbling down what flows…
…I’m so sick of politics. And i don’t like violence! Why are we all so afraid? I wish Tina were here!!! And Walter with his best question ever: “Whose voice is missing?” I need to call the Open Door and see if they need stock, or dinner for the resident community. I wonder what I did with Sarah’s number??? I’m feeling well enough that I think I can handle dinner plus some stock for the soup pantry, if somebody will help carry it. And I still need a recipe for “tomato forward” soup to put in the book! Wonder how I’m going to get it done in time if I can’t eat tomatoes for a few weeks!!! At least ours aren’t ripe yet….
Then there are the index cards. Lots and lots of them! A recipe here. A bit of narrative there. A note about where to look for something I need. (Almost SARK-like micromovements, really.)
I’ve been making soup for years. Specifically, bone broth. Several varieties. And veg stock for my veg and vegan friends. The odds are good that it heals my body. I know it heals my soul!
From another perspective, I’ve been testing recipes. And they’ve been ready to go for a while now. (Well, there are a couple of questions that still need answers, but mostly ready!) The task that remains is getting it all out. Making an intuitive process coherent so that other people can follow along.
That’s the part that hatched this week!
So, writing. Hours a day. Bits and pieces from my morning pages. Special secrets whispering reminders to me as I wander around the farmers’ market. Taking dictation, in a real sense, from the two million year old wise woman who lives in each of us. (Or wise man, if you prefer!)
My process used to make me anxious. It still makes some of the people who know me anxious! I’ve learned to trust what works for me.
This time it’s all wrapped up in the muscle memories of hands wrapped in gratitude around a steaming bowl of hope. Deep breaths scented with the abundance of the moment. A hint of magic in the world.
Perhaps I’m hatching, too!
I have some new food friends lately, courtesy of my long-term friends at Learning Strategies. It’s been a bit of an adventure. One that I’m oddly in the right emotional place for just now, which is kind of amazing, given all the other new stuff popping up like volunteer pine trees in the garden.
Week 1…no problem. Drink lots of water and keep eating what you’ve been eating. Really! Write it all down and notice your inner dialogue–what you’re saying to yourself as you’re making choices.
Week 2…OMG!!! Green Goo for breakfast! Technically, a green smoothie. I have to admit, I freaked out just a bit. You see, I’ve met one of these things before! There was a quick mention of it in the Mermaid post from last week. “Don’t ask about the smoothies!” It was ghastly. However, being very much one for learning new things, I had learned something from that other experience that turned out to be really useful now.
Women, gathered for healing.
Most on the way to older. Some faster.
Encouragement. Dream work. Art. Friendships.
Writing. Conflict. Meditation. Theatre.
Fear. Stories. Food. Mostly Fabulous.