02 July 2005

Now is the time

I have no idea what I ought to do now that I am back in the U.S. My friends who have traditional careers cannot empathize with my dilemna. "You just spent six weeks in Paris, and now you don't know what to do with six more weeks off?" "You poor, poor dear," they might type from their cubicles. I tend to make life difficult for myself. So, I forget I am in an enviable position. I struggled to get this far, and I don't mind saying that I feel entitled to good fortune.

The question now is about which direction my internal life should take. I have a clean slate and I'm hesitant to fill it with anything that doesn't serve my goals. My mom encouraged me to write. This is striking in two ways. She has never directly encouraged me to do anything. Sure, she raised my siblings and me to be resourceful, independent and to survive adversity, but there were never any words that went along with those lessons. Secondly, in her own way she was telling me that I was a good writer and that she enjoyed reading my work.

We are descendents of The Irish. Coming right out and saying something that personal is not my people's style. But, I heard it. In the breath between people's words I sometimes receive the message. The spoken word often fails The Irish, but the written word is our domain.

I want my clean slate to include the reassembly of my Self. There are parts that have fallen away since I left Washington in 2001 -- before we moved to a Red State, before September 11, before I lost my religion, before I went into stealth mode, before I started to play small. These are things I tried, unsuccessfully, to repair when I went to The Abbey of Gethsemani in 2003. I sat in silence, took walks, listened to monks chant the Psalms. No epiphanies came. I left Kentucky and came home, still out of alignment.

When clear herself, my mom is capable of directing others to a sense of clarity. We had a long talk on the phone when I got back to the U.S. She said a few complimentary things to say. Good thing, because these days I am - at long last - willing to hear and absorb compliments. Considering the source, the words held extra meaning. I'd have liked to ask her to record 100 more things about me -- to remind myself that I'm worthy. I could slip speakers under my pillow and listen to the messages in my sleep. In the morning I would put my slippers on with confidence. I miss my confidence.

The amazing thing about bodies and minds is that, in most cases, we can work our way back -- or adapt and move on. Humans are always able to rebound. And that's how I'll spend the remainder of the summer.


At 20/7/05 02:17, Blogger Des said...

Your mother is right (they usually are when it comes to knowing us better than we know ourselves) - you have the gift of our forefathers for words. Your love of words comes through.

My hunch is you could do it spoken too! Podcasting?

Found your blog from your coachinginsider comment.

Be well

Des Walsh
Gold Coast, Australia


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