This is me diving into Allagash Falls way back when. As I was about to leap, the guide informed me it would feel like being thrashed in a washing machine set to rough handling, and then instructed me to “swim like hell” when I broke to the surface to avoid being sucked into a whirlpool. I almost changed my mind right then and there but then I would have to climb back over the slippery rocks to where I had started. Leap or stay safe?
I got a little banged up and went back and leaped again. A lesson remembered now that the first week of 2016 has arrived, a time to glance back to see where I have been and forward to where I need to go to avoid getting sucked down.
It is tempting to berate the many mistakes and bad decisions made in the process of these past two years but I wanted to change from the person I was to the person I believe lives in me, a MORE me. But change is a messy business. Unless you are Scrooge and wake up a new and improved human being after an overnight series of weird dreams, change happens in fits and starts.
If I were to write a New Year’s blog post, I would write about change, how sometimes it happens overnight but not usually. Usually it happens over time, deliberate or not, life happens to you and sometimes you make it happen, you can only plan so much while God laughs. One of the changes I want to make is to push through the dense cloud of resistance to living a creative life, a daily life enriched by art, be it writing, drawing, coloring, photographing, meditating, laughing. Change is about sometimes stepping, sometimes leaping, into the intimidating known and the scary unknown without scooting under the bed of the comfortable familiar. I do not make New Year’s resolutions but if I did, it would be to step out every day with my vulnerability as my shield and a “fake it until you make it” kind of courage.
I am, at heart, an introvert. With some effort, I can throw out flashes of sociability; however, the clock ticks on how long I can keep that going and invariably, substantial recovery time is required afterward. I have been in Middlebury for 5 months now and despite some pleasant experiences with the local birding organization, I have not yet uncovered a current of relationships that fit. There is no “newcomers” clubs or organizations; political groups are of no interest to me, what I am looking for is a small, intimate circle of people, preferably women, who are also seeking their creative arc.
Well, says the little voice: If you can’t find one that fits, start one yourself. I am thinking about it, maybe a writing group, one that meets in the mornings, “MY” time to write. The goal would be to connect with others by connecting to our inner artist, admitting she exists and then living into it. Show, don’t tell.
We could start by meeting for say, 10 weeks, so if it doesn’t work out, the end will already be in sight. It’s been awhile since I’ve organized something like this but there is nothing to lose, and besides, the reluctance I feel is the very thing I need to push through to get to the core of change I want to make happen.
If I were to make a New Year’s resolution, and I won’t, it would be to write to OakintheSeed, twice a month to start off, to let the infection of creating something, anything, settle into my bones, start the fever to fire up the passion of creating because I am yet alive, let it be that I will not leave this earth empty of my passing.