You may not believe this but I fucking love reflection and retrospect. God I love learning my lessons.
Like probably everyone else, I’m less good at breaking cycles and making different choices. But if there’s one thing I’ll do it’s look for the lesson.
I take my workshops and write my morning pages and pull cards and make maps and every other week my insurance company pays a woman called Louise to let me spin for an hour in her capable hands and I surround myself with piles of books and poems that I can pick from whenever my spirit is moved to and try to remember, I try, to pay attention to what I pay attention to.
I try to connect the dots and see the constellations.
Like probably everyone else, I have a bias toward what I’d like to believe. I’m learning to trouble it when I can. This is why, I think, or partly anyway, it’s useful to write what you see and learn and hear down or speak it out loud, to have co-conspirators and confidantes with whom you can share your thoughts-in-progress, really any practice or person who can show you back to you, help you see your patterns and presumptions, consider other possibilities, affirm your instincts, and push you inch by difficult inch closer to something that’s true.
I have my little rituals.
Here’s something I wrote in January:
This year I would like to feel whole, caring, and wise.
And here—a season deep into the year, loving reflection the way I do, trying to connect the dots—it’s a good time to check in:
Do I feel whole?
Have I been caring?
Am I any closer to wisdom?
I’d like to be less interested in answers than in lessons, so let me rephrase:
What has helped me feel whole this year?
How can I find and feed myself more sweetly, thoughtfully, fully?
How have I cared for myself and others?
How do the people I love want to be cared for?
When could I have been kinder?
Where do I feel balance and reciprocity?
Who and what do I trust with my curiosity?
What questions do I keep asking?
What questions do I keep hearing?
What different choices have I made?
The thing about good questions is they ask better questions. Better questions, I think or I hope anyway, get us closer to where the juice is. Get us closer to the lesson.
I keep asking my questions and writing my pages, spinning around whatever I need to know. I’m trying to be more patient with the process, progress, myself, and everyone else. I look for signs that something’s working. I look for signs that something’s not. Try to notice when I feel full and fed, when someone I care for says they feel cared for, who I take my questions to, when I’ve asked a better question.
I keep doing what I can and hope you can too. I have some wondering to do.
Also here, I wrote a poem. Anti-Heroin Chic, an exquisitely edited journal that’s always putting on poets I know and love and poems that knock my socks off, was kind enough to publish it, along with two others. You can read them all here.
I too was once an October afternoon
How today the sky ripped open? Unexpected. For an hour, maybe two, the clouds insisted on themselves. Sunday wept away the sun. It was enough to ruin everything. Ruin. How careless I can be. It surprised even me, when I said it out loud— I am inconveniently in love. As though convenience feels like coming home. I only want a luscious life. I want to touch the tender place our gods meet. I want to say your name like this: I trust you with my weather.
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