Deep peace of the quiet earth to you. 

March 31, 2017

I'll be the first to admit I don't look up when I walk, and I'll also be the first to admit that I miss so much that way. 

You see, I have to stop if I want to look around, and usually I don't like to stop. 

I think there's a whole world of lessons right there.

March 30, 2017

Here's what I think.

  • I think there's no way to talk myself out of being tired, and that perhaps, through the small choices I'm making, I'm talking myself into it.

  • I think the only way to strategize for energy, for grace, is just to get up and do the thing, and quit thinking so much about how to do it, when to do it, am I ready to do it (unless we're talking gardens; then I've got to wait, at least, until after the snows forecast for Saturday--you know, at least).

  • I think I waste a lot of time (and, yes, energy) staring out the window wishing things were otherwise--past, future, present, whatever. It's chronic and it's illness.

  • I think sometimes these notes to the universe/my tribe/myself make all the difference, and (most of the time) make none at all.

  • I think I write myself a better life than I'm living.

  • I think I need to find a new way.

  • Then I think, there is no new way. There is only the way.

  • Then I think: Crap. Maybe I found my way out, acciden...

March 29, 2017

I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that there are beings older, wiser, and more silent than I am.

One does not need to take up a lot of space (either physical or auditory) to make an enduring, extraordinary statement.

We mark our strength by our stillness and our unbending resolve to stand for ourselves.

*Photo: Phoebe Haney

March 28, 2017

Maybe I just like to watch the grace of a good landing. 

Or maybe I'm just too tired (lazy?) for the chase.

March 27, 2017

I already know how little I need to be happy, to be peaceful (in fact, less equals more room for peace). But it's so easy to focus on material stuff, because it's there. You can hold it, donate it, reform it, recycle it. 

But what about the other stuff? The preconceptions, the judgements, the expectations, the anxieties, the uncertainties? We don't have to expect the worst, but we so often do (I so often do), because that's the default, just like it's the default to buy a bigger/better house/car/wardrobe with a step up in income. 

But there's no rule telling us we *have* to define our lifestyle by a generous paycheck. Nor do we have to let our fears and cynicisms ruin the simple structure of our days. 

I don't know how many times I've told myself that I was just going to start asking for what I want/need, and not say yes (or no) when I didn't want to, not make promises I couldn't keep, or redefine the truth to make myself fit in. 

Well, now I'm not only telling myself, I'm tellin...

March 24, 2017

I am incredibly socially awkward *if* I am do not take a moment before entering a space and, I suppose, reset myself. I have to remind myself of who I am when I'm alone and carry that person into the space with me. 

You see, it's like this. I read a book once that made this so abundantly clear. The main character was a hermit, not because she was terribly shy or feared people or had had a traumatic experience, but because as soon as she walked into a social situation, she lost all sense of herself, and this other being, this unwelcome persona, would bubble up and say something so terribly *not her* that she felt misrepresented by her own body, her own mind. 

I read that and I was like, yesssss. That's it exactly. I, too, seem to step back and out of my body and watch, with mild horror, as all these so-not-Amy words come out of my mouth. And I'm yelling at myself to *shut up* already. Just take a moment of silence. Recollect the sweet soul you came in with, and pull that on...

March 23, 2017

Because, really, aren't you (aren't we) tired of apologizing for who we are?

March 22, 2017

Whenever I try to talk myself out of anxiety, out of the ridiculous and inefficient freight train that is my brain at 3am, I remind myself to give up. Give up trying, give up the tricks (the breathing, the meditation, the calming self-talk), take a dropperful of California poppy, read a few chapters and then go back to sleep (or not). 

It makes life difficult, this kind of insomnia, these seemingly inexplicable and unpredictable tidal surges of anxiety, and that sucks. I hear you.

But you know, I've come to realize stillness always comes for me (for all of us), eventually. I've come to depend on the fact that stillness is just sitting there in the corner of the room, quietly cross-legged, waiting (or meditating--whatever it is that stillness does). Eventually, because we never, apparently, outgrow the frustrated-toddler phase, we run ourselves to exhaustion.

Stillness gets up, slips in, pulls the covers up over our shoulders before turning out the lights as finally, finally...

March 21, 2017

I think I've mentioned that I lack the sentimental gene. I think I was just built that way, but moving around a lot, in childhood and adulthood, has a way of prioritizing things (i.e. one gets tired of carrying so much weight). But one thing I absolutely cannot part with is something that, in its way, is still beautiful, still of use. 

In fact, that's my criteria for pretty much anything--is it useful? Does it carry its own beauty? If I can answer yes to both, then it stays. Otherwise, it gets repurposed, returned, or donated. I am not a collector and, frankly, I'd never be a great memorialist (I have an odd, uneasy relationship with memory). But I do love to be of use and I want that relationship with the items with which I choose to populate my living space. 

Art is of use (always). An old spatula, in its simple and elegant utility, is a beautiful thing. The point is I determine use and beauty. My definitions (and you, yours). But those two criteria are vital, I thi...

March 20, 2017

Only we can drop the weight we carry. And, you know, I don't even think someone else can point out that it's still there; this is a lone, sole, no-net sort of venture. 

In other words, it's not like having a hiking buddy who can lift the pack from your shoulders after a day on the trail. This is total, complete self-sufficiency and it's the test we set for ourselves when we bought our boots and paid our fee. 

No one can save you from yourself. 

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