Returning to Words

The virtual Writer in Residence at the Writers Wrest sent me an email a couple of days ago. I haven’t opened it. Because the title says ‘Hey, where has my weekly ‘dose’ gone to!’ I just know she is talking about my writing and the lack of it on the blog. I’ve gone from writing daily during and after the initial blog challenge that got me going, to accepting that if I was returning to some level of working I probably wouldn’t blog daily and so every few days would be good, to weekly maybe, to something else…a crisis of confidence.

Truly, it’s so inane! I’m having a general crisis of confidence. I have decided to put a positive spin on it, and see it as leading to the next raft of positive change. The trick is to get up off the floor and take action. I’m on the floor, but of course I’ve also left the atmosphere…I’m out there, in my spacesuit, in space with Sandra Bullock wishing I had her glamour and energy in that movie. I’m going to cut off the oxygen supply to that space suit!

It’s not just been a crisis of confidence either, I’ve also found my faith a little challenged, and I don’t like that. And I know I’m struggling to stop overlaying the past on my present. I get the theory of not doing that, but I’m in a space of vulnerability, in the oh too good spacesuit. Actually the fact I’m coming to resent that spacesuit, the old strategies and ways of coping, is a really great sign that it’s service is up, time to retire it.

So what instead? Well, words I think. In many ways. Writing them, saying them, sharing them, receiving them. There’s the words from the virtual Writer in Residence, it’s so nice that she’s noticed I’ve stopped writing and I’m just going to open the email…It has a letter of encouragement to me and she’s written “I miss seeing your writings! I check regularly for them you know. Oh, and, I don’t believe you need to change what you write about – I enjoy them.” That’s so nice. And it reminds me that the deal I made with myself was that I would blog as a way of being creative, it doesn’t matter if there’s an audience or what that audience thinks, it won’t please all people and doesn’t need to.

And my darling friend Mim called me a little earlier to ask me if I could message her sister on Facebook to let her know her phone had been left at the day care centre. I told her a bit about what I was feeling and she’s always got a great spiritual insight. She said today’s faith is different to yesterday’s. Things then are dynamic, faith included. Her words are uplifting. She reminded me too that sometimes I just need to be the receiver.

There’s also the words in my bible, a particular verse that’s been carrying me along. The friend who gave me this particular bible talks a lot about the bible being full of promises, and when I needed one and went looking, I sure found just the right thing. I’ve just grabbed the bible from beside my bed and opened it, to read that verse and found some extra words that were quite private when I wrote them, but I’m going to share them now because it’s a good story.

22nd September 2013

Dear Me,

I hope that there are some things that you have been able to do:

  • Some level of meditation and mindfulness practice
  • Stop, pause and make choices and decisions
  • Be more present in your life here and now
  • Give yourself a lot of loving kindness and compassion.

I hope too that these things have made a difference and supported the change you have been seeking. I go beyond hope actually, as I know as I write this you have already deepened your ability to know self, to love self. I am proud of you and I love you. Know this when you are fearful, when things are challenging, And know it when things are good. Retain gratitude, grow and expand your love, centred on and from you. Be kind to this new self, she’s pretty great.

Love me xx

Wow. What words of foresight and wisdom! In 2013 I did a mindfulness meditation course. At the end of the course we wrote ourselves a letter that was then posted to us some time later. When my letter arrived I didn’t open it. Then I moved interstate and when I came across the letter I put it aside and did eventually open it and apparently I stored it in my bible right alongside that verse about being taken care of and having the future you hope for. Nice. There’s a message. Believe it.

So, I think words…and some reframing. I’m loving this concept of reframing having read Reframe: How to solve the world’s trickiest problems by Eric Knight (2012). It’s one of five books that my Muse Matt has on his list of Five Books For Change that have most influenced his thinking as he worked through the 10 City Bridge Run epic quest ahead of a series of Design Forums to ask “how might we use our networks to improve the delivery of child survival?” Matt created the list having sent out a call to Bill and Melinda Gates for their recommendation of five books that those of us involved in the conversation on improving the delivery of child survival should read. We haven’t heard from them but remain hopeful. Read more about it here.

Words, reframing, shifting…not all experiences that are hard have to be tucked away and tainted. Sometimes we can find in them the stuff that is our strength. I’m listening to Neil Finn and Paul Kelly singing Moon River. These are the lyrics:

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossin’ you in style some day
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waiting ‘round the bend
My huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me

I had a huckleberry friend when I was a kid. He was a beautiful long, red haired guinea pig. One day after school as I crossed the T-junction on Melba Street and stepped onto the neighbour’s front yard on our Atherton Street, I suspiciously noticed some of that gorgeous orange-red hair strewn about. It turned out that the palliative care nurse, who lived down the road, had brought her daughter when she came to see Dad, and her daughter brought Snowy the dog and they thought they’d open the guinea pig hutch, and well, Snowy slew Huckleberry. He went off without me to see another world…

Have you ever noticed that when your confidence begins to slide it can be replaced by some other feeling, that’s not always helpful or welcome? For me it can be a feeling of being bereft. It’s a familiar rock that sits there and emanates waves. It’s not exactly ugly, but it’s hard to love it. Maybe that’s the trick though? Rather than suffer inertia, gather up the love and go see the whole of the moon (and yes I’m now listening to the Water Boys).

So I’m gathering up the love and the words from the virtual Writer in Residence, from Mim, and from myself, and I’m going to choose to shift back into a world of words that are everywhere. Words in the way I see the clouds and the light, in the feeling of laughing, in the story of my coloured toenails, beneath the dust on the glass of framed memories.

Words for here and now and later…hope, faith, giving, receiving, being…I hope you have some good words around you too.


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