The text came in just before noon on the last Sunday in March:
time for a new Laura Reeth blog post.
Love The universe.”
I read it, smiled. Texted the friend serving as the embodiment of the universe:
I know. I know.
Need to push through and
stop making excuses.
And then I put the phone down, pushed the thoughts away and moved along. Except I did that moving pretty much standing in one place.
It’s not that I don’t want to write my stories in this place I’ve created. I do. But the words seem trapped behind a thick clear wall — I can see them but I can’t find the doorway to access them. In fact after writing the first two sentences here, I got up and walked away from the computer — for three days — because it was just so hard.
Of course it’s hard. It’s hard to come up with words, phrases, sentences that make sense. It’s hard to put the work out there. It’s hard to have faith that the stories will come if I show up.
But hard is not impossible. I just keep giving into a maze mind that throws up dead ends and detours and full-stops to keep me trapped behind that wall. Because it’s not the words that are trapped, it’s me inside that maze mind. The words are flitting about happily in their polysyllabic universe. Happy. Free. Untethered to any of my grand notions of gravitas.
I’ve friends who are fully invested in the hard part of telling their stories. They may love the words, the flow at certain points some days. They may detest them an hour later. But to a person, they show up every day and make those words appear on the screen.
Since I refuse to even give the words a chance, they remain beyond the screen, detached from me.
I’ve taken a few photos since that text, shared them on occasion, hoping that showing what I see at any given time would jump start me to those levels of determination and discipline to tell what I see. There is no magic, there are only steps. And the first step is ignoring the voice in my head that edits — usually unkindly — as each word appears on the screen. The sensible part of me says, stop it! Stop it now! The maze mind just says heh, heh, heh.
I could go on and on, bore myself silly with the reasons why I don’t show up when I know full well that the showing up is a good portion of the work. There are stories I need to tell, they are ones only I can tell and if I don’t do it, those stories leave this world with me without once being given life.
Last Sunday at the end of a quick, solo trip to the beach, I was up at 6:20 with a beautiful dawn straight in front of me. I had some new lenses for my camera phone that MDR gave me as a Mother’s Day gift and they were burning a hole in the small case I had — I needed to get out there and see the world in a new way. But there was departure looming a couple of hours ahead of me — how could I get out there and use them and get everything done?
I thought, “you know, if I had a perfect life I’d walk every morning on the beach.”
The Maze Mind was heh, heh, heh-ing all over again. But this time the sensible portion of my brain turned on me and said, “then get the hell out of here and walk. You always have the time. Now make some.”
And that was the step. Lace up the sneakers and go — 20 minutes, 30. Half mile, less, more. It didn’t really matter, it was stepping out the door and going. If I didn’t walk on the beach departure time would still come around, but I’d mourn the fact I had to leave and didn’t see the early morning beach.
So I walked. And I thought. About this space. About a million and one changes coming up in the next three months. About how even if I didn’t do any writing here I’d still turn 53 in two months.
What came through loud and clear was how are you going to spend those two months?
The answer, simply, was show up and tell some stories.
And so, I start. Again.