Sunday, January 22, 2006

shut up and listen.


i went away this weekend for a few days to a farmhouse upstate that belongs to a friend of mine. i needed some time away from the chaos that is my apartment and life (does my apartment reflect my life? or does my life reflect my apartment?) to think, reassess and just be.

i've had some pretty shocking eureka moments in the past few weeks - chock it up to the holidays, the new year, the birthday, the new little gumptious gray hair that's shimmying out of my hairline (whom i've named Roxanne, by the way), whatever. i just know i needed to step away...shut up...and listen.

sounds easier than it is. i excel at many things. relaxing is not one of them.

i went alone. now, this worried a few of my friends. rightly so. they know me, or rather, they know The Isolationist Me from when my eating-disordered, self-destructive behavior ruled my days. when my 3 best friends were Girl Scout cookies, broccoli and obsessive exercise. you know what they say, don't you?

an addict alone is in very bad company.

i guess they thought i was gonna go up there and weep myself into oblivion while bathing in a tub of chocolate and then run 14 miles. still appealing at times, yes, but i also know that in spite of my reclusive-abusive past, i've always been the type o' gal who needs a little "alone time." a little QT time with the most fabulous/horrible (cuz it really depends on the day, right?) person i know.

as much as i'd love to fill my house with guests and feed them giant pots of chili and cocoa and suffer paroxysms of laughter; as much as i'd like to take my show around the country and save every pre-teen girl from stepping into the abyss that is an eating disorder; as much as i'd love to meet a boy and get married and maybe have a kumquat or two and slow dance to the din of the dishwasher (there's one of them fucking, inconvenient eurekas i was talking about) - i really do believe that in the end, the most important relationship that i have is with me. that sounds very self-help and Oprahesque, but if i'm not "okay" alone, i will never ever be okay with ______.

them's thar just the truth.

so...that's what this weekend was about. shutting up, listening, and just being with me.

between baking vegan cornbread and watching old Katharine Hepburn/ Cary Grant flicks, i spent a lot of time sitting by a waterfall, endearingly called "Buttermilk Falls," sunlight piercing through a lacy veil of trees. i just sat and tried to discern what it is/was that i really want in my life and what i can do about getting it or giving it away.

figure it all out dammit! and preferably within the hour!

funny. i was still tense.

finally, after an hour of agonizing over why an epiphany had failed to strike, it dawned on me to just quit fucking trying so goddamn hard.

novel.

there were no sweeping revelations. no booming voice from God. it was more of a faint whisper that naturally got louder as the screaming, judgmental thoughts got sucked away into the rush of the falls.

what'd it say? eh. a number of things.

be generous.

be loving.

be honest.

give dinner parties (
seriously that was one.)

the biggest one was the quietest one. the eensy-weensy pebble that ripples the water and shifts all the others into the sunlight.

open, please.

in essence, be vulnerable.

ugh. i'd be more comfortable with be a bitch. that voice is absolutely right, though, and i know it. i think i've proven that i'm strong, but am strong enough to show that i'm weak?

we'll see...i'm just gonna keep shutting up and listening.

my brothers should be very pleased. ( ;


1 comment:

Karalyn13 said...

Oh lordy, I DO know how you feel. It's so funny, b/c I think we spoke about this last week. I have had this revelation, too. And here's what I think it's about...

It's not what we want, or what we have, or what we're lacking that causes us problems... it's our expectations. When our expectations don't match up with the life that we're living, that's when we run into issues; with ourselves, with our loved ones, and with the world.

So, what were my expectations? I guess the main one was that I would grow up to be some kind of artist. What I want most is to create something beautiful and beneficial in the world. And so I feel like a shitbag b/c I haven't yet, and so I don't bother with alot of ideas b/c I think, "well, that's not the BIG one, is it? Nope."

I never thought I'd be where I am now... not achingly poor anymore, but not sufficiently motivated, either. And I am pissed about the loud, booming voice of god not visiting me, too! So, birthday wonder-twin, on my big day (29!) I was feeling much as you were, i think... on the cusp of something, creatively frustrated, imperfect in so many ways, awaiting revelation.

But you know, I think the big ones come quietly... When I stop thinking so much about what I'm doing, whether it will have any greater meaning, what the process will be like, that's when I am able to be... swept away. And I also think now that the voice of god is a quiet one, it's an echo that comes from inside, from that part of us that already knows, and that is constantly supporting us and empowering us to just be.

Happy, happy birthday, Margaux...and if there's anything I can tell you about this, strictly from my own intuition, it's that all of the things you want in your life, you already have, and everything you want to be in the world, you already ARE... It's a matter of perspective.