No Words...


I’ve been having a problem finding words, lately, which is a big problem when one is trying to write.  [I can hear Sara Bareilles singing “Uncharted” in my head, which is why I began this blog with the very same words as she. One line in particular rattles around in my brain: “Compare where you are to where you want to be and you’ll get nowhere.” I can attest to the truth in that.]


Still…I’m stuck.


I think part of it has to do with not being sure of how much I want to share, here. This is, after all, my professional therapist page. How much of my personal life do I want to share? How much should I share? Where is the line? What about the privacy of my family?  {Wait! Can I quote Sara Bareilles without her permission??}  The questions begin to spin around in my head and quietly and efficiently serve to bind and gag my creativity. A perfect symbol for this came to me in a dream a few nights ago: I dreamt I was going to start a new 12 Step group called “Overthinkers Anonymous.” (I could be president, except they don’t have those in Program. So I’ll chair the committee for awhile. Anyone want to join me?)


Overthinking is one sure-fire way to stop the creative process. During my training as an Expressive Arts Therapist we often practiced the antidote to this: essentially it was, close your eyes and leap. We’d get out a large piece of paper, move our hands across the smooth page and feel what our bodies, arms, fingers and hands wanted to do. We’d let them move over the blank landscape before us. Later, we might add color in the form of paint or pastels or whatever medium drew us. The result was often surprising, usually satisfying and always worthwhile. Inspired by this recollection, I’m going to jump in.


I’ll pause here and look out my window at the swallows swooping and gliding, carrying mud from the pond nearby as they build their cliff-dweller’s nests on the eaves of my neighbor’s house. They’re not thinking, “Does this look good, here?” They didn’t hire an architect and consult each other about the best possible building material and position of each nest. They didn’t get a building permit. They also aren’t aware of how beautiful their collective dance appears as they seemingly choreograph their moves in time with each other. They’re just diving, grabbing, soaring, smacking mud on the wall and sailing back to repeat. They are simply doing what barn swallows do.


I look back at my computer. My brain wants to step in and draw an amazing metaphor, but the truth is, I’m better off if I just let my fingers keep tapping. There is a magic that sets in when the mind is off. I don’t have to know what’s going to come next. In fact, it’s better when I don’t. This is the place wherein pleasant surprises swoop.


Dreamy…my conscious brain is paragliding alongside those beautiful birds. I simply don’t have a clue as to what will follow…


What makes writing especially difficult right now, in addition to the overthinking described above, is that my life is in huge transition right now. Describing the details of this feels overwhelming and, I fear, would not be interesting or appropriate. [Oooh… that last word just threatened to summon the Judge, chief executive officer of Overthought. To hell with “appropriate.” I can edit later. Let’s scrap the word “interesting” while we’re at it.] Suffice it to say that there are enough moving parts in the current diagram of my life to render it a shape-shifting puzzle in constant, inexhaustible motion. In a nutshell, there is almost no steady ground, or at the very least, much of the ground that is around me consists of new, unfamiliar territory. It is a strange combination of terrifying and exciting, heartbreaking and exhilarating. What itnever is, is boring. So, I’ve got that going for me.


As I explore this new dominion, however, I have discovered there are small bits of terra firma lying in wait of my discovery. Some I’ve had to reinvent or rediscover, others are older than dirt [Dirt! Come to think of it, getting in the dirt is a good one, too!]: hugging my daughter, holding my husband’s hand, taking the dog for a walk, doing a strenuous workout, deeply connecting with and meeting a client in his or her own unfolding process, holding a yoga pose or simply getting quiet and looking out my window to see the birds in ballet, trees swaying in the breeze behind them.


Going slowly, remembering to breathe in and out, finding connection when it presents itself. These are the tools of survival here in this ever changing landscape. When I sink into these moments there is relief and an opening. I see glimpses of the vista just beyond this turn in the road and it is awe inspiring. I remember the vast realm of possibility that lives here, fingers touching the page…heartbeat and breath…  arms adagio…eyes closed…


I leap.


And I find steady ground.

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