all around me, everywhere i look, the springtime is unfolding, what’s welled inside is aching to burst forth. cold winds, unexpected plops of snow and other falling things, seem only to make it all, all the more unlikely. but still it doesn’t run away and hide. doesn’t pack up its tightly-wadded buds and tender leaves, return to whence it came.
i am out there, often these days, trying to learn the same.
not long ago i had a dream. it was something filled with hope. i believed it mattered. but over recent weeks and months, a year perhaps, it’s gotten rather dented.
i don’t know, not at all, if it will ever be. or if it’s worth the trying.
if these sound like gasping words, the words of someone wobbling, well then that would be the truth. and i always tell the truth, whole truth, not one word less than.
truth is: for one whole year i rose before the sun. i pulled up a chair and opened up my heart. i typed. i tried to tell fine stories. i tried to make it matter.
all around me for a while, i heard the sound of chairs. some came to the table, and told me they were there. made this place quite holy, and filled with shining light. others never spoke a word, but i had to think they cared (sometimes they even whispered so, when no one else was listening). still others, some of whom i deeply love, never even came.
i thought at last i’d found the thing that i was meant to do: to write of holiness, to magnify the little stirrings, to make the homefront count.
but now i’m not so sure. no one it seems is in the market for a book of little stories, of the heart and soul of all these hours we so deeply do believe in. heck, the newspaper where i work all day has told me, twice now, no thanks, not interested, could not care less.
but that’s not all.
of late, that someone who i share a house with has left me in the dust–at least in this here blog department. on a slow day, he tells me, he racks up a mere 600 hits; bemoans it as a dud. i get 100 in a week, and i am rather pleased. in just a month, he’s passed 100,000. most days, he has thousands clicking in to hear his thoughts.
hmmm, hard not to feel a wee bit underwhelming.
i’ve been told you can’t compare the two. well, all right then, but where’d my wind go?
i can’t bear to give it up, this thing i held so dearly. but on the other hand, i think, perhaps my time is better spent merely tending to the ones i love, writing only for myself. telling tales the old-fashioned way, the way the paper likes it: he said, she said.
perhaps a year and nearly six whole months, is more than i should ever think out loud. perhaps you’ve heard too much.
maybe it’s just the lull of spring, when all the juice is pulsing at the branch’s distal tip, or stirring in the chill of underground. and the bloom, still working toward perfection, is not yet ready to reveal its uncompleted beauty.
maybe all i need is time to bask in sunlight, to feel the warming winds.
but today i am that bud above: furled tight. pulsing deep within. not yet knowing when i’ll open up.
have you had dreams you loved, and nearly lost? what kept you believing? how did you weather all the forces that seemed hellbent on crushing you?
If it is right for you,do it.If it helps you to grow ,do it. And do not compare with others,yours is beautifully personal and lets us know how you feel, with written words ,not spoken words.
Dearest BAM,You are amazing. Your words thrill me. I don’t want to lose this one site for reflection, but you must follow your heart when you are through comparing apples to oranges. I weather the hellbent forces by talking to and reading inspiration from my friends. Know that we want you to do what you need to do.
Dear Bam,Not to pressure you or anything, but…I would miss you!!!!!! Cyberspace is our only connection, and I know that I love knowing there is someone else out there who believes in crazy, wonderful things, and notices the beautiful little details of life. (which end up holding so much in them, really…) I love knowing that there is someone brave enough to tell the truth, to put it out there… it helps me to do the same. And I just thought that you should know that, either way you go with this.
waiting, waiting, waiting…is what I do for those buds from that wonderful woman a little north of me to open up and fill my senses, heart and mind with with feelings and ideas. I check in every day and sometimes dip into the dried blooms from last year. I find not all blooms can be forced in a time period, but they do in their own time and perhaps the intention of the bouquet of words and stories needs to be set out to bloom in its own time. I find your flowers get me through my days and I am thinking there are quiet others out there who do also. I am struggling with my own little garden with some hopes and dreams that feel quite dim right now, but a quote came by me yesterday that I have posted just about everywhere….”When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things just as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and end of spiritual practice.” (Jack Kornfield) So I am resting in my garden and so look to other gardeners for companionship inspiration…..know your garden is appreciated and life giving. Spring it on…..
“I believe that in quietly choosing a way of being, a way of consciously stitching grace and beauty into the whole cloth of our days, we can sew love where before there was only one moment passing into another. making the moment count, that’s what it’s about here.”Sweet bam … see the quote up above? That was written by one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever had the blessing to read … and incredibly, to know … you, in the inaugural entry on this blog.It’s been said that big city newspapers have to hear the heartbeat of the city in order to write for the people who live in them, but don’t they have to feel the heart as well? Who is in charge of that? Must all news be bad news to sell papers?You referenced William Shakespeare in your last post … if I may, here’s another phrase he penned … “To thine own self be true.” Let your heart lead the way …
dear blessed circle of you…..if only for ivy, blessed young thing, striving to speak in honest poetry, striving to tell the whole truth, or at least the bits that feel important to share. maybe hearing from just the few of you is enough to get a wind stirring, blowing. maybe one day soon, my beautiful korean spice viburnum–that’s what that throbbing pink thing is–will explode. will send its unrelenting notes up and underneath my window sill. will tap me in the night, and tell me something true: tell me to not wobble. not look to my side. not measure the distance of where i walk, or who is passing by me. maybe some times in life we have to stumble to regain our footing. maybe you don’t mind my looking out my window all the time, or deep inside my heart. it’s just that it’s been kind of rumbly up here lately, and i am rather good at convincing myself that i what i think is taking up airspace. even if there are only five or six of us, isn’t that just a little bit amazing……okay, now, let me comb my hair, wash the tears off of my sloppy cheeks, and take a big fat cleansing breath. all right, then, where were we? to be continued….. p.s. does anyone else get wobbly in the spring, the season that is surging full of life? only not when it’s tugging, pulling…i think by nature i am an autumn-winter child. i like a cloudy day. the crunchy woods. although, on the other hand, i do love the tender little things bravely breaking through the cold…..see what i mean, i just wobble in the spring….
Yes, I am a bit wobbly on my feet these days, too. There are far too many changes going on in my life right now. One child venturing into her own life and future, the other still needing to practice her flash cards, and me in the delicate balancing act of trying to keep the two on track. Wobbly indeed. We all feel that way at one time or another. For me, when I feel shaky, I know it’s time to get help keeping my balance, and that means I turn to God who helps me to straighten up and fly right. These are crazy, even scary times, but I still believe in the beauty that presents itself each and every Springtime. I can’t help but think that we all must experience the growth that Spring requires. Thank God for Springtime … I’m growing.
Oh pvj and bam and all of you….I just got off an hour phone call around my “wobblies” and sorted through some emails around other’s “wobblies” and now I am feeling like I am in the best of company!!! I also was thinking the same thing, pvj, about the paper….I love the newspaper so much, but lately am so worn down by it in the morning….I would love a small space – about the size of a little garden, that was just dedicated to life giving rather than “fearful life”, “angry life”, “frustrated problem solving life”, “sad life”, “sexy life”, “celebrity life”, “political life” …….geez – we need a little “Harvey”, Jimmy Stewart, gosh darn, look at the sweetness of life type of writing that our dear bam does so well….. would so make my morning coffee taste that much better. Well if there a movement to be started….I am in. In the meantime…I am taking my wobblie self out to dinner with my youngest and will just sit and enjoy the present moment. Blessings on everyone and their wobblies in the wobbliest spring I can remember.
Oh lamcal … you’re wonderful … I’ll bet (like bam) you’re magnificent on even your wobbliest days. Hope the dinner out was just what the doctor ordered.
Who would guess this was about page views and book deals. Isn’t it enough to share and express, isn’t one impression enough? If the masses flocked one could suspect something to be amiss.
you know, almost every one of the 350 days or so that i’ve meandered it’s NOT been about page views and book deals. still isn’t. but every writer wobbles. especially any writer who tries to keep putting her simple heart out on the line. sometimes i start to think, oh, no one wants to hear me on THAT note again. or that rant. or that love affair with my nesting sparrows. and so today i took the chance, took the deep breath and said out loud, this is really hard, and sometimes because i’m human as human can be, it gets hard to swim up against the current. all around me, everyone seems to be sprouting book deals. and at work each day they send out little notes telling us how many hits each story on the web got. it’s a world boiled down to numbers. eeek. and sometimes it just gets lonely thinking out loud, feeling out loud, and feeling deeply. some times this is the easiest breeziest thing i do. sometimes it’s dry and dark. it was almost easier when i wrote every day. now it’s harder to pluck that one thing of the week that really leaps out from all the rest. sometimes because there’s only often one meander, i feel silly contemplating something really little. and sometimes the things that hit me most deeply, aren’t things i can put out for all the world to read. so that’s what makes it hard. that’s all. and sometimes when you say it’s hard, it gets easier. like magic. like miracle. like so many mountain climbs in life. i really didn’t know when i sat down to write this morn, that my words would take me where i went. sure, i’ve had those thoughts, but i was as surprised as anyone to read them on the page. that’s what always amazes me……..anyway, dear carl, whoever you are, thanks for dropping by, and that’s what propelled me to write what i wrote this morn. this is decidedly not about the end game, but i never met a climber of a mountain who didn’t some time need to sit down and ask for oxygen. you gave it to me here. in puffs and gulps. i thank you……and lamcal and pjv, and blessed njk, you will never ever know how your love and unwobbly care kept me climbing up this sometimes steep ascent. xoxo
Wobbly- what a perfect word… I feel as if I’m about to tip over, and for such overwhelmingly happy/sad/exciting/scary reasons… Spring does that. But everyone feels a little crazy sometimes, don’t they? Bam, I love you even more to know that you wobble too, just like the rest of us.
my dear wobbly friend, you are encircled by so many brave fellow wobblers. we throw out our lifelines, our heavy ropes and fine delicate threads to you. we all wobble now and then. to wobble is good. to feel, even the unpleasant messy feelings, is part of being human. to say so out loud is courageous. when off balance, i look to wiser souls to guide me. one of my favorite quotes is taped up on the blue wall beside my desk;”i do the best i can which means i try not to do it right but just to do it as i feel and as i see. getting it right is not a good goal. the biggest secret is perseverance. just not stopping no matter what. i do everything i do because i love to do it, even when i worry or am confused or slightly in despair. those feelings usually pass. and then the next day is there. always a good thing. the next day.” -maira kalmanit gives me such deep comfort knowing that even maira kalman sometimes wobbles. and she gets right back up.
“2 steps forward, one back, is a net gain of one…” in the words of esmmy heart beats with yours, whatever you do, my onlyest sisterjust know you used your God-given talent to create a space we love to frequent…a place where we learn and grow. how beautiful your giftRemember–down the hall, through the door, and on the left…
know there are many “quiet” ones out there…your writing touches me deeply even though I don’t comment…the world would be a better place if we all focused on the grace imstead of the “numbers”…isn’t that what it is really all about?
dear anon, how right you are. see today’s meander (“this one’s for those who believe…”), in which lowly writer stands up in the face of grace, and says, “i do.” will do my best to disregard all mentions and insinuations that without a click, i amount to little………p.s. and thank you SO much for quietly stepping up and adding your whisper to my prayer……i write believing, but not knowing, just who is out there, or if these words are met with silence. and it never hurts to find out i’m not all alone out here in the wilderness…….
i come late to the heart-telling and I too both run towards and get a bit anxious in spring. THe idea of growing, of blooming is beautiful when observed from a window or a bench in the backyard, but in phases of growth in my life, I sometimes feel like a baby cutting my teeth all at once.Dear dear Bam, you have invited us into a sacred space in cyberland that is rarely thought of as sacred. You have opened our hearts and in turn we find our hearts opening too.I don’t believe that those of us sitting in these chairs are the only ones in this world interested in the space where quotidian meets winter, summer, spring and fall. I know that when we talk about family, dreams, faith, doubt, the man who feeds birds and sewing lessons on a summer night. Is there someone out there on a chair, who knows of a publisher or publishing house with a really big chair? I know there is paper out there in the world just waiting for the words that make up your life and the rooms of your heart.isn’t it anne lamott that says, bird by bird and stone by stone? I pray that each and every bird and stone that opens your heart to beauty will lead you to a place where passion and words meet to continue as a vocation.
Pulling up a chair from Rwanda, happily back in the land of internet connections for a minute. Lamcal, I love your present moment quote. I wish I could say with ‘bam-eloquence’ what sustenance this table brings me. If my online time is short, I hungrily copy and paste columns, to be savored slowly later offline! When I’ve wobbled home over the dirt roads, (or mud, in rainy season) sometimes wet or discouraged or just worn out, it’s delicious to curl up and drink in these reflections. Peeking at the sacred, celebrating the wonder of life lived deeply – not just in my mother tongue, but in a language that lifts my heart – is like coming in from the cold. Helps me get up again, to at least carry the love that has been entrusted to me, to those I meet here. (Would that that were enough to fill bellies, too…) Amen to tomorrow’s fairy circle image. And I bet each of those fairies needs the rest of ‘em to be around the circle, for the transforming magic to happen.Wonderful bam, thanks for keeping the kettle on!
mm, far off in rwanda, but pulsingly close to all our hearts by now…….that these few words, and the words of those who circle here as well, that it brings you in from muddy roads, that it fills you, stokes you, sets you on your way for the most holy work you do, essential work, work i wish i was in a place and time of my life to do, well, that, again, is reason to hold high my questions and my ponderings. to keep believing that this idea was born for some reason i don’t yet understand, but that already has made miracles. it has pulled us together, across oceans and savannas of poverty and injustice. i will carry on as you do…..blessings abundantly.
truth be told, i’ve been wobbling for past few years. feeling those great hopeful swells and then once just a bit of the dreaded doubt creeps in….how easily the stage goes dark. it’s so slow, but i just keep holding on and thinking if i hang in there a little longer either i’ll catch up to the belief and faith of others (case in point: marriage, which i thankfully did). or others will catch up the belief and faith in myself (this whole new career thing, i keep wondering: just when do i set the cut-off). now, i know you would emphatically tell me to keep going, so i’m imparting the same. inspiration can not me measured in ‘hits’. this is your honest life’s work, continue to dig in that rich garden of yours. there are those of us who love to see the miraculous things you grow. xo