I have struggled in recent weeks with what to write in this blog. My garden was my inspiration, and gardening is in my past for now. I wonder, not for the first time, if the blog has also run its course.
I lamented to my friend Katherine this week that I didn’t know what to write about. She gave me a quote for inspiration, “If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur?” (Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love). That is a starting place for January. But first things first; it’s not the new year quite yet.
You know those toy cars that you put on the dining room floor and pull backward toward you several times before you let go and the car careens across the floor and crashes into the dining table leg? They can’t go forward until you pull them backward. I don’t think you can move forward in life, either, until you pause to look at where you have been.
Can you stand a metaphor that compares life to a piece of woven fabric? A blanket of all one color is functional as something to keep you warm, but it isn’t very interesting as a piece of art. A weaving that abruptly changes color, as if the artist had paid no attention to what came before, is not pleasing to look at. But one that weaves complementary colors in and out of the warp of consistency, can be looked at and into and remain an ongoing source of joy and beauty and depth forever. I aim to continue the colors that worked for me this year, perhaps pick up some that I dropped from previous years, and then add some new hues; while staying true to my core. The first step to keep the color moving is to look at what I wove this year.
I look back at my January 2012 blog post as I ponder the year past. After a too-warm December, it is full of photographs of the emerging garden. The sedum poking up through the dead old growth, a black-eyed Susan, the Lenten rose. I am swiftly overcome with longing for the life I planted in that garden, for the greedy squirrel eating the birdseed outside the door of my sweet house, for the sunrise over Oakwood Cemetery. It is a bright spot in the fabric of my life. I hope it is being loved.
Last January I began the One Little Word Project. I chose a word to focus on for the year: Venture. I certainly ventured, though I only did the OLW exercises for five months. My Venture (selling my house, quitting my job, leaving my friends, moving across the country, living with my mother) was so bold, I couldn’t really focus on the subtle colors I want to weave into my life. And yet, as I look back, I see that the colors of mountains and ocean, of sunrises and sunsets, of stories from Mama and learning about how to be in this relationship with her, of new friends, of writing about and photographing this new existence are weaving through my fabric. But it doesn’t feel like it’s hanging together yet. This week I will sit, with my pen as the shuttle and paper as my loom, and consider what new threads need to be added to my 2013 fabric to make it pleasing.
But first, the sun is shining. Time for a little road trip exploration over the hills and dales with my new camera. Perhaps as long as my life has not run its course, neither has writing about it. I am going in search of new colors.
5 years ago