The alarm beeps.
I look at the scribbled box in today’s calendar:
Work, yoga, phone call with college roommate, Bachelor on TV.
I should do two loads of laundry.
Oh- and the dogs—they haven’t gotten a long walk in too many days.
Grocery shopping- due for the eggs/milk/bread staples type trip.
A notification on my phone: “It’s Waylon day! See you later today at the Elephant Academy meeting, live at 10A.” Elephant Academy- the 8 week online writing course that seemed like a good idea on one particularly whirlwind day last month. It still is a good idea, except that it’s become just one more item on my “list of good ideas,” where it goes to join the other lists, and I can hardly remember which number of which list I was on a moment ago.
It’s an iced coffee kind of day. And by iced coffee kind of day, I mean Starbucks. Dang it. Disposable cup and straw. I meant to stop doing that.
Waylon challenges us to publish something within two hours. I look back at my calendar.
“You’re feeling stressed, thinking that you have to do these things. What if you didn’t have to respond to anything? What does that feel like?” ~Waylon.
He’s right. He’s typically right. When I’m stressed, it becomes a swirl, and I’m no longer here but also not really there. I’m incredibly efficient at making lists but somewhere in the swirl lose my capacity to check off the list items in any real way that feels like satisfaction. An ongoing list- stress. A swirl of wind and debris where any potential articles are swept off my desk and out the window before they have even had a chance.
The alarm beeps.
I tap the spot on the bed next to me. Two bounding, furry beasts accept the bargain: cuddles in the covers in exchange for waiting just five more minutes to go out. The youngest puts his head in my neck- have you ever had those moments where senses mix, and you’re not sure which you’re relying on? Somewhere between the smell of puppy breath and the feeling of warm heartbeat, I get out of bed with an angel usher.
I reach for the good coffee beans. Roasted on Highway 50- the only beans that pushed me over the edge of finally getting a grinder. I shake a few extra in, cueing up a full pot, and pull down my mug- the one that feels soft on your lips. Mark of Maverick Potter- you’ve been blessed with a talent for sculpting clay that kisses you back.
This might take awhile.
Dogs go outside while I walk a stick of palo santo around the place. The smoke is somehow both fresh and charred.
“When something resonates exactly with how you’re feeling- that’s when healing happens.” ~somewhere from Elephant Academy- I don’t remember who or where.
My bare feet stick to the wood as I walk. One of those “What is being alive? What does it even mean that I have feet that stick to wood as I walk?” thoughts starts to surface, but then disappears, rejoining the great lake of “wherever all those existential thoughts go, that humans are only equipped to quickly ponder and then look away from.”
I take out a scrap of fabric, donated from the sweet and giggling gals down the street at the fabric shop. Bright pink, with edges frayed. I write, carefully, “I am present to living the moments of this life.”
I step outside- icy February air with a hint of brewing organic matter. It licks the skin on my not-yet-woken neck like a newborn plunked into water. I tie my fabric around the prayer flag clothesline. I stare as it whips a couple times in the breeze. There.
I come back in, calling the dogs after me. I fold my favourite blanket to sit on- I grew up with this blanket. When I moved to Colorado, during one particularly alone feeling week, a box arrived at my house addressed from my mom. Pulling this blanket from that cardboard was like seeing an old friend who knows all your secrets. I know there’s a truth in sinking- to let yourself feel the “ah-ha!” of the magical moment, when things, and people, show up just in time.
Comfort and belonging and grounding play upwards at the corners of my mouth, and the topic comes rich as butter. Because the cure for writers’ block- of course- is the same as cure for everything.
Be here, now. Presence is here. Not there. Pay attention. To hell with the lists- they aren’t in the here, they’re still back in the there.
Easily, my fingers start to type:
The alarm rings.”