Thinking About Nothing is Everything

lotusI just completed a much needed and very inspirational phone call with my book coach.  Hopefully she will not read this and see that already I am procrastinating about my next assignment.  But I needed to express this, for myself and anyone else who can hear me.  Thinking about Nothing is the most important thing I do each day.  You may call it meditation, prayer, getting in touch with my inner self.  All those labels apply to that time that is just mine, to let go and let life pass through the space between my ears.  But lately, I haven’t been doing nearly enough Nothing, and it shows.

I’ve been very tense about everything these past few weeks:  my daughter starting high school, which means soon she’ll be having all the experiences and adventures of a teenager and will come of age.  Exciting and scary at the same time. And work, the day job, has been frantic. Lots of changes, some significant, some silly, like the fact that I’ve had my cube location moved three times in the past three weeks.  I’m settling in, and it seems silly, but I began to feel like a transient, fun at first, but eventually frustrating and without stability.  And my body keeps me guessing by the moment – hot flashes, muffin tops and excess facial hair all scrambled up in a soup of chaos.  I feel like Linda Blair in The Exorcist these days, with no control over my body temperature or disposition.  Just a puddle of cold, then hot, pea soup.

So the book, my new book that I’ve been working on these past two years was really coming along and then the work, the flow all halted, abruptly and with no warning.  I was Trying to Get the Feelin Again like the best Barry Manilow fan, but nothing.  Flat.

Even as I’ve attempted sleep at night (or early morning, thank you menopause), all I can hear is voices, loud ones yelling and trying to get their pointless points across to me as I lay there covered in sweat and unable to rest.  I have no idea what they are even talking about.

Now I know what’s been missing.  The fuel that energizes me and in spires me to live from moment to moment, savoring each breath without judgment or drama.  Well, maybe a little drama for the sake of telling my story. Continue reading

On Mothers and Birthing Books

 

A woman searches for inspiration, in this 1898...

A woman searches for inspiration, in this 1898 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reflecting upon a day when we honor our mothers and all they do for us, I have found that other bloggers today have said it well, better than well actually.  Whether your mother is with you or not, it’s all about love, and who we love, and appreciating the power that provides for us, sustains us.  I can’t add much more to that message.

I think you all know by now how I feel about my mother, and I think she finally knows too, which is liberating for me.  It’s no secret how much I appreciate her, on her good days as well as on her not so good days.  She has always given me love when I seem to have both deserved it least and needed it the most.  For that I am grateful.

And I have so many other wonderful mothers in my life.  My mother in law, a true friend, my sisters, my friends, all the women in my life that give until they can’t and then give a little more.  As women we do this, we nourish the souls as well as the bodies of those we love and don’t ever think of payback.  Well we don’t often think of payback anyway.   It’s just what is.  Thank you to all of them.  And as a mother I can tell you there is no better job, no better vocation whether it be by birth, by chance, by friendship.  Even for those who have 4 legged kids – giving of yourself for the well- being of another is a sacred privilege.   I know that when I got that warm sleepy hug this morning from my girl, that’s all the gift I needed. 

So now. as A Girl from the Hill is out in print, I must admit to feeling both elated but also a little let down.  Elated that it’s finished, that I accomplished this and brought it to completion with lots of help of course.  Elated that my mother enjoys it, and that it is a fitting tribute to her.  But let down in that I don’t know what’s next.   Yes the book is sweet, and can be fun and powerful in some ways.  I am proud of this work. But I’m not sure what’s next for me as a writer.  I have been looking for inspiration, and coming up empty.  I know I’ve mentioned writing about my struggles with food, but there is also part of me that wants to develop characters that go beyond this.

I was fortunate this past Saturday to spend a delightful few hours listening to Ann Hood.  Again if you know me you know that she is my writing hero.  She was at the Davisville Free Library in North Kingstown, RI.  For me it was like going to church.  Her words, her creativity, her enthusiasm, her story all inspired me.  Just when I was thinking that maybe I can’t do this, maybe it’s not what I’m meant to do, maybe I am just ordinary – her words lifted me and have given me the confidence to trek on.   To hear someone with such passion for their work and the process, without pretension, truly lifted my spirits. So while I am not totally immersed in that world today, it’s in my future, I am certain.  If you get a chance pick up her new book, The Obituary Writer.  I’m just getting started and it’s wonderful.  She has given birth to so many wonderful stories, this one included. 

So I ready for my next child to come along, and open myself to inspiration.

 With Love and Gratitude – P