In her heartbreakingly wonderful book This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, photographer Susannah Conway explains that writing is “a vocation that pays out twice: first to you as the detective unraveling your heart and then again to the reader who consumes your work.”
This echoes a conversation I had recently with my dear friend Judith who reminded me that the life-changing moment for a writer is not necessarily being published, or even being read. The life-changing moment is the creative spark, that white hot moment of inspiration.
The rest, as they say, is gravy. More or less… (Read More)
Last week, my nephew and I stopped at the local library for a contactless pickup of some things he’d placed on hold. He exited the lobby with a bag — a large paper grocery bag — full up with treasures, and he couldn’t have looked more excited!
From the backseat, he reached in and tallied his Christmas vacation spoils: the Scooby Doo videos, the Jurassic Park videos, the Captain Underpants book, and other classic 9-year-old contraband. He was giddy at the prospect of so much time and so much to explore!
I must confess, I am feeling likewise giddy at the prospect of 2021. It is giddy tempered by the sadness and grief we’ve all felt about 2020, but it’s a hopeful perspective nonetheless.
And while my bag of booty does not include cartoons and dinosaurs, there are plenty of treasures to yo-ho-ho about.
Just this morning, I signed up for my 9th annual Goodreads Reading Challenge with the promise to try to read 50 books. First up? Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.
You’ll find there’s a running theme here at the top of 2021. I’m all self-improvementy right now, all I’m OK, You’re OK but everything feels like it needs a little work. Everything feels like it needs a good shaking out, really, like it needs (or I need) to be unfurled and hung out on the line to flap in the fresh air for a while.
Do you know what I mean?
Here’s a funny story…
Every year for years, I’ve kept a Vision Board here in my office. It’s included all of the things I hoped to accomplish or dreamed about. Cut out photos, postcards of dream vacations, words and sayings — all compiled to help me manifest my vision. And every morning, I’ve turned on the light, lit incense, and said a little prayer…for years…until it became rote. Rote, uninspired, spirit-less.
My vision had become spirit-less.
So last January when my friend Judith suggested I take everything off the bulletin board, I was only momentarily stunned. Stunned, then inspired.
In retrospect, I think that blank Vision Board and its lack of expectations is what saved me in 2020, what kept me sane and above water while the waves of quarantine, isolation, loss, and detachment crashed over our heads.
But it’s 2021, a gorgeous blank page at the beginning of a new chapter!
In preparation, I bought some colored pens and a new journal. Collaged its cover with purples and reds and gold leaf!
I’ve consulted the angels, petitioned the runes, and created a simple list of self-care intentions.
I am journaling now with kindred spirit Susannah Conway, unraveling my year in a series of questions and writing prompts.