1. Tell about the quality of light coming in through your window. Jump in and write. Don’t worry if it is night and your curtains are closed or you would rather write about the light up north- just write. Go for ten minutes, fifteen, a half hour. (prompt from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg)
It is 1:51 in the afternoon. The grass is green outside and the bushes tremble slightly from the wind. It hasn’t rained for days, but last week it rained basically every day. The clouds are prevalent in the sky. They’re a big and puffy white mass. They look muted, somehow. Oh, the light, the light (I got distracted looking OUT of the window)! The sign of light coming through the window is an odd shape on the floor. It is a retreating and coming again relief outline of a houseplant. I saw this same houseplant in the amazon when I was in Peru at the beginning of the year. When I saw it I said, Hey! That’s the same as our houseplant. I was amazed!
Today it isn’t showcased in the jungle; it is showcased through the odd shape on the floor. I bet if you were shown the houseplant’s shadow you wouldn’t be able to say, That’s a houseplant, so misleading is this shape on the floor. It looks more like a chameleon climbing a tower of gumballs or as if a glorious lotus, dark as the night, is missing a petal and got splattered, paintlike, on the floor.
We all have designs of control. Sometimes I admire people who are into BDSM because they’re so open about their control fantasies. It seems like liberation to me. I’m not sure why the light coming in the window made me think of that, but it’s just on my mind.
I can’t control the light coming into the kitchen (in fact, now it’s gone away as the sun moved behind one of those chunky puffball clouds). It comes and goes. The other day I was running and I had headphones in my ears connected to an iPod. I hadn’t updated the songs on there in a while and they were getting old to me. Each one that came on I thought, Next! But I challenged myself to not flip past a song once, and I didn’t press next once on that run. I endured this thing I could change because I wanted to basically force myself to get over this Next mentality that I have.
I have it all over the place (the light is still gone- it’s more of a diffuse brightness now, no more “plant shape”)- this Next! habit. I’ve flown all over the country (metaphorically mostly, but literally in a few cases), hardly staying anywhere for longer than 8 months. This has been my story over the last 7 years, ever since I quit the college soccer team, switched colleges, worked on an anarchist organic farm in the shadow of a mountain in Colorado and started looking around at what’s going on on the earth (alternatively speaking)…The rest is traveling, seeing, exploring! I had a really stable childhood. Lived ~20 miles from the hospital I was born in.
I think of this because I have this habit of moving around and I can’t seem to keep myself in one space. I’ve started numerous gardens and left them (with some sadness, I might add). I think one reason is because when the surroundings get “old” to me, I want more excitement and newness. That’s why I made myself endure listening to the songs I didn’t really like. It’s a first trial in abiding. I don’t want to move around all over the place forever. I want roots somewhere. But there’s no forcing myself in that regard. At least not yet. I think my life works more organically than that.
You see, I pedaled my bike up the west coast to find “home”, a place to live and I ended up meeting a person who became my partner. We’re still together (glad that’s lasted longer than a year! 😉 haha). I think “finding my place to live” will work in a roundabout way too. I didn’t go off looking for a partner. And yet I found one while I was on my path. This spring we set off “looking for home” and moved somewhere for a while, but it actually turned out to not be a good fit. The experience helped me further realize what I am looking for, which is great! And I’m thankful for that insight. I think “landing in a place” will unfold while I put my intention elsewhere- say, in the realm of making community/ friendships, starting a business, holding workshops and retreats, etc. Sometimes the things I want to have happen Don’t happen in my timing!
The controlling parts of me Don’t like that, but just as I can’t control the sun coming in the window- I also can’t control the timing on things which are way beyond my control. The light is back casting full force against the houseplant. The Dragon’s beard pattern on the floor is another reminder that creativity, imagination and craziness can’t be controlled in life, better just to let them flow & move through you. (2:14)