Some people kneel. Some people chant and sing. Some people bow their heads and cup their hands. To me, writing is prayer.
It’s the way I connect. It’s the way I listen. It’s the way I distract my mind with lists and events and all the trivia that clutters my mental state of being, that I wrangle over and over again until I get to a place where the clothes closet of my life is almost empty. What remains are those too-small, too-faded, bits and pieces of life that, at some point, need addressing.
And I do. And I don’t. Perhaps you can relate to that exhausted and bored with yourself Amazon-shopping-to-distract frenzy of not dealing with the real deal, the What Really Matters stuff. You know, the icky junk that wakes you up in the middle of the night that you can’t solve and you try to solve by taking nighttime meds and watching YouTube until you finally fall asleep to that scratchy black and white state: “You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
Writing is prayer.
This is what happens when I write. Yes, in the case of a blog, I am aware of an audience and that’s ego, to be sure. But I crave connection; I’m a social creature by nature and feel better when I engage with others, even if it is with a “like” or a hopefully sincere comment. But behind this public display of trying-to-figure-out-my-life-at-65, is a hope that by shedding my veneer, others will similarly shed theirs, which I happen to believe is the key to finding peace: Being real. Like Anne Frank. My mentor since the fourth grade when I first read her diary. Oh, how I miss sharing her story with my eighth-graders.
Writing is prayer:
God, how can I be of service? What do you want me to do?
Be yourself. Smile. Engage. And stop worrying. I got this.
Wow! It’s really that simple?
No judgment. No, “You dumb bunny. I’ve told you this a million times before! Why don’t you listen, fool!” God responds with kind of an air-hug warm embrace that always brings tears to me eyes and a, “Duh! Of course!”
Float. And float I shall. I don’t need to sell the house now. Though I might. I don’t need to buy clothes or furniture or tickets to see Josh Groban or Cirque du Soleil. I don’t need to reflect the frenzied energy of others and respond to their nudges and “words of advice”. If God says, “Hold still. I’ve got this,” I will. If God says, “Now,” then I will.
My frenzy is buying into the frenzy. Not stopping. Not valuing my time. This gift—-Life—-that prayer and silence and walking and being in Nature reminds me of.
What prompted today’s journal entry is the possibility of moving: For decades I have dreamed of moving to the Central Coast, having an ocean view, going for walks, eating healthy foods, drinking lovely wines, journaling, art-ing, socializing—growing. Selling my current home would release me of certain responsibilities. It would shed the ever-present worry I feel if “something goes wrong” since I don’t have the finances to address “The Bad Thing”. In a few years, when a portion of my retirement is spent, some of my monthly income will be gone and I will be house rich and day-to-day cash poor. Obsessively, I turn over and over in my head, “Should I sell and downsize?” House values in my area are way up. I could walk away with financial security and a new beginning.
And therein lies the rub. What about my present? My grandchildren? My adult children? My amigos? And my city, with all its faults, the one in which I grew up in and am used to?
To move means I would be alone sans family. I’d have to re-create my life, my relationships, my routine. Would this shatter or reinvigorate me?
For now, my life IZ very good. I live two blocks from the sea in an old California bungalow that I have somewhat remodeled. I love my Angel Cove Cottage By the Sea. But a change is inevitable, in a few years, for sure. The question is, do I take the plunge now? Or wait?
I have dreamed of living in Cambria for decades. The lost, brand new home steps from the beach, the one I was afraid to buy decades ago because I would be too far away, woke me up last night. My life would have turned out so differently had I decided to live there then. I probably wouldn’t have become a teacher. Who knows what would have become of my kids?
Writing is prayer. Writing is a way of sorting out, deciphering truth from fiction, and being forthright—bruises and all. Writing is my way of microscoping the past and engineering a new flight path leading to the future. But more than anything, writing is my way of anchoring to the present, experiencing and observing today’s blessings so that when, and if, it is time to launch, I can do so with no regrets. God wants me to smile, enjoy, and be at peace.
I got this!