(Song Dedication: Only the Wild Ones by Dispatch)
After an unseasonably frigid walk with my Mom on Monday morning, I returned home with bluish lips and sat. I slipped my (SOCKED!) feet in my Glerups, grabbed the grey tone Canada pillow from the sofa, placed it on the hardwood floor and sat my frozen ass on it directly (meaning as close as I safely could without my tights bonding to my skin) in front of the fireplace. There I would sit, until I had accomplished my goal; to bring my body temp from lizard to human being once again.
The heat was almost immediate on the tip of my nose and cheeks, on my knees and shins and it made me smile and shiver at the same time for the disparity of the internal to external. I closed my eyes to meditate through this uncomfortable state for about 6 minutes and when I found myself still stuck on the barely melted iceblock in my core, I pulled out my iphone to completely check out of my body and mind. Sometimes, checking out is okay too (albeit my blog is called the Art of Beingness).
As I scrolled through the day’s facebook feed, I came upon a video a local entrepreneur had posted (linked with her approval and blessing:). It had lots of comments and likes and shares and I so enjoy watching her facial expressions when the sound is off, one of the most expressively animated faces I’ve ever seen…it made me remember her as the little girl who grew up in the same neighbourhood as me after we moved to Quesnel when I was 7. She was always this little spitfire and I remember her full of piss and vinegar, always talking shit at the older kids. Fucking fearless warrior woman. Our hometown is small and her big sister was my softball coach one year, loved her too…just a great family.
Anyway, still not at my body temperature goal, I decided to settle in and not just watch her video, I listened; first with curiosity and then with recognition and connection (which is big for me these days). In this particular live feature she had chosen the topic of “why”. Why we do what we do, identifying what the purpose of our doings are for. I loved how hers was for her husband and her boys but equally as much for herself and then others. Man this little girl had gotten her shit figured out over the past 30 odd years. I recognized her engaging animation as something else even more powerful, fiery conviction. It stirred me.
At this point 45 minutes had passed and I was ready to take off the puffy vest and coat and reside as a normal human in the comfort of my home. I was cognizant of the time I had taken to “warm up” and hopped to getting the to-do list underway before picking up my son from school. I was left with a little hum from what she had shared (was it my literal fireplace or her fire that had sparked something within) and let it be for the time being.
24 hours later, I was driving to Prince George for my first Chiro adjustment in over two months. The neck pain had been especially flared the past 5 days and I knew my alignment was out, if only a titch. But before, I would ignore and push through and the titch would become a tad, tad becoming trouble…trouble meaning migraines. As I drove north on highway 97 framed by splashes of yellow, orange and red deciduous mixed with an early frost over farmer’s fields, sonically immersed in the new Dispatch album Location 13, that I felt had been written for this very moment, I began thinking about my “Why”.
Now following my 600 word preamble here it is, and maybe I’ve already demonstrated it with my wordsmithing thus far.
Why I Write
My creative energy is like a dragon, not a placid pet bearded one either, a fire breathing wild thing. I have come to understand how to harness this energy and the actual harm that can come from ignoring this beast. And with a few creative windows in and out of my timeline, I can tell you with certainty, when I deny the care and attention to my fire breathing dragon, it consumes me, burning first from within and then affecting my outer being as well. So one, I write because the alternative (not to write) scares me more than the doing, or rather I need to harness the energy as a positive rather than avoid it until it consumes us both.
It is a form of meditation. When I sit at my laptop, or in my car with my phone or with my journal for whatever strange reason possesses me to put old school pen to paper, I go to another place in my being. Words collect into sentences and phrases, my floating thoughts find anchor on the page and become acquainted, some marrying in recognition and deep connection. And just like when I finish a painting or a drawing, I am able to sit back and experience what was swimming around in my head as distractions, now as cohesive clarity. Like at the end of a meditation, once again opening your eyes to reengage with the visual world, order maybe a little more present than the chaos; or at least a little less intimidating. So two, it brings me peace.
For the love. I always knew I loved writing, not that I have always written this way (but I sure loved writing report card comments celebrating my students individual growth and academic progress, even if the document was only skimmed and the overall outcomes were the readers only focus, I didn’t care; it was my way to honour my students). How could I have written the way I do now though? I only recently found my true voice and have learned how to carefully listen and honour my thoughts and experiences with little to no filter. It is a challenge to write respectfully about myself but also my awareness of others and how I represent them on the page, because I am forever capturing a story that often is not just mine. I pride myself on truth-telling but not oversharing details that do not serve a purpose for healing and awareness. This process hones my mindfulness. But from the kinetic process of fingers on keys, the songs that inspire me to synthesize a big idea from the mundane overlooked operations of life, the choosing of words or just the flow that my mediocre typing must attempt to match so a concept or insight isn’t compromised, the act of writing is like home. Welcoming, safe, a place to rest; shelter as a necessity for my survival. Three, it is joy fulfilled.
Evidence. I started this blog in December of last year as an attempt to show myself (and perhaps at that time, others too) how hard I was working to get better. To heal myself. But I don’t just write blog posts, I’ve since adopted writing as a go-to therapy, I journal and write short stories, I’ve started 3 different books! Ooooh, I’ve been keeping that little tidbit in my skeleton closet for fear of judgement or failure…but there you go little guy, it’s October so you’re free to run, go stretch those femurs, I’m not ashamed of you anymore. But when I write, each word is evidence of what I am doing is working. In these posts alone you can see my growth; self-love, compassion, forgiveness, joy, courage, health, it’s all in here. Now on day 70 without a migraine. For me it wasn’t medication for a quick fix to continue with the status quo…I was done just trying to survive. I wanted to find my vitality; I found it as I faced and shed my addictions, let go of false prisons of perfectionism and social constructs. It was hard work, but it worked. Four, proof of my existence.
My why…She is my beast tamer, my peace maker, my nurturer, my testimony. I write to harness this fiery conviction and I alone am the flame keeper. And you, you are my witness. With gratitude and pleasure that you should choose to be this for me.