It’s been over a month since I last wrote. I’ve been experimenting with some drafts…they’re patiently waiting to be completed. One is about being “likable”, another about coping with ignorance, and a third about the difficulty of change.

However, inspired by the writing advice of Natalie Goldberg, what I really want to say is this.

The greatest challenge of my life is living with integrity, honesty, openness, and love. However, there is no other way to live. Who do we think is going to do our living for us? What is keeping us from living the most beautiful life we can envision?

No matter how much self-criticism arises, I can consistently find pride in my efforts to live a good life. Effort is the key. Results are not keys.

What is it going to take for me to change? What am I waiting for? No one will save me.

Mind, show me your worst. Show me your scariest. Show me alone, unwanted, destitute, and broken; a total failure. I have seen your imaginings. They are childhood fears distorted in an adult reality. They are empty.

In two weeks exactly I’m driving away from this southern Oregon nest. Ashland has cradled me through my early to mid-twenties. She has brought unbelievably empowered and inspired young women as role models and friends. She has brought me the opportunity to grow with an outrageously amazing band. She has brought me joy unimagined, sorrows deep and black. She has held me in her arms and allowed me to struggle and strive. And now I uproot and grow towards the midnight sun, land of my babyhood and youth.

Playing at the farmers market dressed as a fairy angel.

Walking a path in Lithia Park and running into Elizabeth.

Picking blackberries with Henry; finding the herd of bucks.

Riding bikes home with Elliot in the warm summer evening.

Practicing in the hot teepee on Mountain, baby Eowyn naked.

Sitting out on the Caldera deck, my leg up on Frankie’s lap.

Late night talks with Ian in the Orange Avenue kitchen.

Smelling the wisteria in the morning at Squawking Hawk Acres.

Soon the memory of driving away will be added to this list, my car full of all the possessions I lay claim to in this world. It’s already all falling away: the bakery, the band, the Orange Avenue house, Ian, the last symphony concert. And yet, this is only the beginning of my one wild and precious life.

Image from pixdaus.com.

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