Truth: You're *always* writing.
I was in Mexico last week, making good on a promise my sister and I made to our nephew eight years ago. We said when he was 16, we’d take him somewhere awesome. Somehow, he’s 16 now, so away we went.
I thought it would be “time off”, a rare and delicious laptop-free vacation. I underestimated all the poetic and delightful ways that Firefly follows me. I took notes for future newsletters on bumpy bus trips. I journaled about being a boss on the roof desk of our little house in the early morning. I had profound ideas for my novel which I didn’t write down and have now mostly forgotten.
This is what I remembered — when you’re creatively engaged, the work never leaves you. That’s a good thing. You just get to keep entering the ocean from another shore, seeing neon fish and discarded beer cans, noticing how the delicate light filters into previously-blackened corners, encountering yourself in everything.
That story or poem or blank journal you keep feeling bad for ignoring? Maybe you’re not ignoring it.
Maybe your creative life is unfolding at the exact pace it needs to.
Maybe you’re gathering up the details you need to sink back in when you’re actually ready.
Maybe the only times you actually turn away are when you transform your creative spark into blame and guilt.
Maybe you’re doing this perfectly.
We seem to all know, deep in our bones, how to push and judge ourselves. And we should; the world is on fire, the headlines are terrible, this fragile planet needs the best of us. But to really offer ourselves up, we also need to remember how to float in the tide from time to time, to allow our voices to find their own tempo, to let the small moments of beauty sparkle and shine. To trust.
Also to fall in love with tiny Mexican street dogs and let them lick our faces every time we walk by… Or whatever your equivalent of that might be. (Ooooh that picture up there! Marry me, little chihuahua friend!)
On that note, I’m going away again for a bit this week. It’s my 17-year anniversary of not quite dying of meningitis, and I always take a couple quiet days to light candles and find silence and remember the exquisite truth that life is good and I’m still in it. I won’t pretend it’s a vacation. You’ll all be there with me. You always are.
And in the meantime, Firefly careens forward. We have some spaces left in our spring workshops, as well as a full slate of summer classes and retreats on the horizon. We have an open mic that we just announced, coming up in April. We also have patience here for you. And deep breaths, on good days.