Monday, September 3, 2012

every ritual was once a whim

Today is the symbolic end of Summer, for me, and tons of others. This Labor Day. Bbqs, beaches, last struts in the sun, beer guzzle, the chemically sweet stink of sunscreen. I too see Summer as the stretch between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. Those three-ish months of heat, late nights, exposed skin. 

My start to Summer this year was intense, my sister's wedding was Memorial Day Weekend. I was sick, sick-sick with aches in my lungs and body, a virus took me down and I had to stagger through, smile plastered because you can't be sick on your sister's wedding day. You have to be joyous. I was, but I was also tired and sad because I was sick. Regardless, it was a good day, a good weekend full of family and laughter. The months planning up to the wedding were chaotic and busy so I planned to get the hell out of town right after and I did. I got in my truck and drove to New Mexico.

I love the road. I love driving longs hours, listening to music, audiobooks, my own thoughts. I love the solitude of the road, passing cars and trucks, moving into my own. I was ready to get away. 

I'd spent a lot of the last year working on myself. I was a mess a year ago, angry, betrayed, and mostly pissed off at myself for not listening to my instincts. After the mess I had a few months of chaos, distraction; I bumbled through somewhat rudely until I couldn't anymore. Enter a more consistent meditation practice, contemplation, the clearing out of years and years of crap.

Fast forward to the beginning of Summer. I was ready ready ready for change, for joy. 

I put a lot of myself into my writing, a lot of my vulnerabilities show up, the sharp or rough edges, especially in my poetry. I'm okay with that, the best writing is open and emotional. I wrote a short story before Summer. I wrote it for Las Dos Brujas Workshop, but I also wrote it to exorcise some demons. I remember working on it, crying so hard into my keyboard I couldn't even type. I chucked all sorts of wounds into that story, The Half Wife, so I could be rid of them. After I finished it I lay down on the floor and cried. I had so much to get rid of. I felt exposed and raw after writing it.

I'm so grateful I wrote that story, that it tore me open. I'm so glad I bled all over those pages. I needed it.  I was still open when I got to the desert. Everything changed there. I reconnected with old friends, I reconnected with the best part of myself, I made new friends, I fell in love.

The last couple of months I keep looking at myself and wondering why I feel so strange, then I realize this"strange" feeling is happiness. I didn't realize how much of the last few years I've spent in a kind of holding pattern while I worked through things, while I struggled with my writing and my relationship to being a writer. No more, no more. I am happy. I am comfortable in my creative skin and joyous in the work. I know it'll ebb and flow, such is the nature of creativity but I've been in the flow and fuck, I like it.

I've decided to go ahead and work on the second book of the trilogy even though I still am working on editing the first book. I need to get into that place, where my lovely character is growing and moving on, transforming. I've been frustrated with a lot of the female protagonists I've been reading. I want to yell at them Rescue yourself!!! So much plot. So much history. Last weekend my new Love was visiting me and I talked with him at length about the world my books inhabit and I was really surprised at how much I know. I really have worked my ass off to think about the mythology and culture of the place; I have so many interweaving plots and nuanced characters. I have to trust myself more, trust that my subconscious knows the deal and keep moving forward. I love it.

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