I’m going to admit that I am bone tired today. I didn’t rest long enough and had a photo shoot all morning and I now need a nap. But that’s the superficial kind of energy and not really what I’m talking about. I used to run around wily nily and not give a thought to what I created in my own body and mind and spirit to offer to the world, and that’s the deeper kind of energy I’m talking about. The kind that is radiated and manifested. One of the most disheartening parts about looking at who I used to be is that I know I often did not do the best I could’ve done in that department. I have lived a lot of my life with my fearful head up my own ass and my ego leading the way. That’s not good, and it’s not even cute, at least not for long.
I’m not sure when I started to become conscious of what I radiate and ask the world to absorb, but sometime in the past decade I’ve begun to develop (thank God) some self-awareness. That doesn’t mean I don’t mess up and drag my negativity into certain situations, because pain and suffering doesn’t only take you over, it gives you a bad memory. If doesn’t allow you to remember what happened the last time you did something, often the wrong thing, just to get the feeling to change. It doesn’t allow you to remember that other people don’t necessarily like you to drag your baggage and your bad day into the room. It doesn’t allow you to remember that it’s often so much better to ask someone how they’re doing rather than spew vitriol or whine about how you’re not doing as well as you’d like to be. I’d like to be able to remember those things, so that means I have to keep a certain perspective on pain and suffering.
When I write down my intentions every morning, I always include a sentence like this: I will continue to try to become more compassionate, empathetic, and understanding, and will try to reflect those things to the world. Because the thing is, I am in an incredibly heightened time in my life — things are being written about me and my work all over the place, my photo is being taken a lot, I’m traveling here, there, and yonder — it would be very easy to put my fearful head right back up my ass and let my ego run amok and ruin everything. But when I visualize that, I hate the person who would react to such a gift in that way. You see, I am humbled by this moment. I am floored when a good review rolls in for my book or when someone, first of all reads it, and then tells me it’s incredible, moving, brave… they say so many nice things. All I can do is say thank you and try not to cry.
But I do cry. I’m pretty sure I cry every day. I thought I was done, y’all. I was ready for elastic waist pants and gardening clogs and investments in a very serious kitchen renovation and major cookware, but here I am, getting a chance to do more. I’m so grateful. It’s incredible that I get a second, third, even fourth chance. And what I want to try to do most of all with this chance, is to just hear others. The most fascinating thing about letting this memoir into the world is that it seems to help folks feel freer to talk about their own traumas, their own childhoods, their own wounds and heartbreaks, and if that isn’t the job of art, to send something out into the world that is a reflection in whatever way that it is, I don’t know what else its job could be.
I realize that today’s missive is more prayer than anything. And the older I get and the more I make things, the more I think that’s what every work of art is — a prayer. It’s opening a window in a room that was dark. It’s opening a vein in a body that needs to bleed. It’s opening, period, so that grace can come in. I pray for grace. I’m praying for it harder right now than I ever have, since I started praying again. I’m going to need grace in bucket loads so I can live up to that intention I write down in the mornings — so I don’t get pissed off at an airline counter attendant because my flight got delayed or canceled, or curse out a hotel clerk because of a lost reservation, or not be patient and kind with someone who asks for one too many photos after the show when I have to pee. I don’t want to remember this time as anything but the gift that it is, and I know that starts with how I treat it, how I treat myself, how I treat others, and what sort of energy I send into the world.
May my energy always match my intentions. May yours too.
Thank you so much for reading my weekly posts. That humbles me too. I do like this space I share with you so very much.
Peace, love, and happy Wednesday.