Finally, after 17 straight days of rain, the sun has broken through. I feel the pull to go into my garden and dig in the wet dirt, plant my roses and arugula, while the window of opportunity is open. But what I really have on my agenda is to write – write through and finish Shadow and Light.
And I’m going to. I feel the breeze blow through the open window and catch the slant of morning rays through the trees. Mottled light dances on the hostas. My lady slipper orchid basks in a patch of sun that brightens the corner of the dining room. Isn’t it enough notice?
But a bigger question dogs me this morning, my lens pulled back to wide angle: What are you up to, Annie? What really matters in this world?
On the cushion for a brief, fidgety moment, it occurs to me: I’m fluttering around, like I’ve throughout my life, the quintessential floater, from flower to flower. I get confused. I’m not sending a clear message to the universe about what I want. So it’s confused too.
I do this to hedge my bets. Of course I do. It was a habit learned so early, or ingrained in my genetic code, or both. And in all that brilliant coping…I end up with nothing. Or what feels like nothing. Though I know that’s what the Dark Force calls it to keep me running scared.
It doesn’t help that one of the things I’ve chosen to do with my life is one of the hardest, most unrewarding endeavors in the world: This writing. No wonder I chose it. The rejection is endless and the moments of triumph so rare, it adds more fuel to my fire that I’m worthless. And the Dark Force grins with sinister glee.
I feel trapped in the commitment I made to myself to write this Mexico book. There’s no way I’m giving up!
Didn’t this happen in the Peace Corp too? Didn’t this happen in my marriage? Didn’t this happen in my adolescence? Imprisoned in my parents’ drama, I’d do anything to escape, and yet was compelled to stay, protect, fix the un-fixable. Confined by my own commitment, I would not let the bastards take me down. So I persevered. And when it didn’t work out how I’d envisioned, again and again, I got the point where I couldn't trust my own commitment.
Do something. Help yourself. Recognize this. You’re caught in a double-bind. You can’t WIN this game, sucker!
It’s almost comical. I can feel a tiny bubble of laughter rise out of my throat. Ha ha ha. That giddy acknowledgement leads to a question: What matters? The meditation practice matters, because it allows me to step back, not be the situation but the observer and, for a brief moment, laugh at it. That, and the writing, will save my lonely life, if the writing, ironically, doesn’t kill me.
Does anyone else feel this way? Or only the childless mothers out there whose commitment to their own freedom has left them with way too much time to ponder?
Back to birthing the book, pushing through the pain. I’m long overdue.
But first I take a moment to gaze at my happy lady slipper.