I discovered a small piece of paper the other day in a box with biz cards and notes. A few sentences I wrote at least eight years ago on it. I can tell it’s been that long by the paper – small, vertical, glossy. It’s from one of the small books I carry in my purse for notes, quotes, and miscellany. And this page was from a book I haven’t carried in at least 8 yrs. At the top are these words:
Privilege of staying inside the fog of my own imagination as long as I desire.
What was going on in my life when I wrote that sentence!?
Let me take a break here to say I’m under the weather. A bout of allergies after a most glorious 2-mile hike thru meadows and rock bluffs. I’m caught this minute in a deep down lethargy. A coughy throat that kicks each time I lower my head. Drainy sinuses that turned into a hard spot at the bridge of my nose. + A brain caught on slow. A real drag as I (and much of Santa Fe) just came out of an extreme allergy season that lasted many weeks. A season that hung on people’s lips because many of us mightily suffered. But today, I believe this slooooo is perfect for drifting into my imagination, and extreme presence.
Said admitting it was tough this morning. I scheduled a mini-workshop to give. ugh As I dressed, I thought about the time I saw Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. How he rocked full-out for 3-1/2 hrs. How I learned later he had the flu. I thought to myself, I’ll just call myself Bruce today.
I didn’t have my usual verve in the workshop. But the participants shared stories in answer to my questions, and had questions of their own, something that doesn’t usually happen. It was fine.
When I got home I stopped a moment to watch poppy petals. They’re so delicate and thin, each is like a little silk scarf. The slightest movement of air sends them sideways, trying to furl. Then they’ll gently roll back, open and show me their centers. Until the next breeze.
The key for engaging with my imagination requires I slow down. It requires I organize my time, fit fun in the mix. It says write with others because it sparks me. Write fiction and poetry, follow stories and images, because it’s not only fun, but I love it. Be present with what comes up, because so much fascinates – how river oxbows form, how baking soda strips hair color, how the clouds looked as if they were painted on the sky the other night. Notice how narrative and all the ways it plays out in lives and cultures is suddenly in front of me in articles and videos. Notice with presence.
As if the Universe agrees, on the three main roads coming home from the workshop, I got caught behind cars that never inched past 20 mph. 3 separate cars, on 3 different two-lane roads, driving far below the speed limit nearly the entire way home. I decided to call it a sofa day.
I think perhaps every one of us needs something to balance our Soul. For me, right now it’s slowing down, engaging my imagination, and living in extreme presence. A practice of trust. Because I have a book, things to share, people to connect with, a business to build. And I haven’t done this slow trip in a very long time. I can do this. After all, I write about it.
Another small journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life.
Tell me. . .What gives you balance in your life?
I’ll tell you a secret. . .For the first time in ages, I read a novel in the middle of the day. It felt really good.
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The Writer’s Block Myth
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