Jon Kabat-Zinn made me do it.

Eastern red cedar/Juniperus virginiana. January 2013, Virginia.

For years (truly) I have brushed away a pining to create my own space online. My doubts hung thick like fog:

I’m mothering and running a business and doing my share of keeping a home. And I want to learn how to do so many new things. How would I make the time?

If I’m going to take time away from family to do this, I should try to figure out a way to be compensated financially, right? But then I’d need to commit to regular, meaningful content. I already struggle with this on our farm blog and in some other online places. I struggle with discipline in many parts of my life, frankly. Why would this be any different?

How do I honor and respect my husband’s private nature and my child’s right to grow up well away from the public eye?

Will this make me too proud? Will it be too much navel-gazing?

I don’t want to inspire anyone. It can be a slippery slope, right, that space between sharing my joys and making people feel inadequate? That scares me.

And does the world need another blog? It can’t possibly.

But quiet and tenacious as the rising sun, that pining to write just kept showing up.

So.

I’ve decided I’m done with feeling tortured.

I’ve decided to name the notion that I can predict what and who will come into my life because of writing here for what it is: hubris.

I’ve decided – looking back over the last six or seven years of showing up on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, our farm website, some other projects I’ve been a part of – that the net effect of all this showing up has been overwhelmingly positive. There has been more connecting, more compassion, less suffering, less feeling alone.

I’ve decided I want more of that connecting, and also a place where I can challenge myself to dig a little deeper, work a little harder, say a little more, ask a little more.

I’ve decided to be here.

I hope I can manage to walk that line between honoring my family’s privacy and talking about what it means to be in a family with grace. I hope I can welcome imperfection. I hope to celebrate these days that are the good flesh continuing and then to be able to look back on them too. I also hope I can manage to not take myself too seriously. That’s perhaps funny to say in a post like this, but it’s the truth.

This afternoon I was listening to Krista Tippett interview Jon Kabat-Zinn on On Being. That show regularly makes me weep, and today was no exception. I was listening, but my monkey mind was also thinking about this maybe-space of mine, and about how we are all enough, right now, right here, and can reminding one another of that be the main thing we do? Then toward the end the interview, Jon Kabat-Zinn read a poem by Derek Walcott. I burst into tears. Then I pulled into my driveway and sat down at the computer.

“Love After Love”

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott
Collected Poems, 1948-1984

 

21 thoughts on “Jon Kabat-Zinn made me do it.

    1. Khrista

      Oh Lisa! That poem!
      This part:
      ‘Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

      the photographs, the desperate notes,
      peel your own image from the mirror.
      Sit. Feast on your life.’

      This is why I blog and take so many pictures!
      So glad to see you here!

      1. Lisa

        Thanks lady. I’m learning so much from how you share what you see and love, on IG and on your blog. It’s certainly one of the things that moved me to action here.

  1. Annika

    Welcome! :o)

    I’m so happy for you because you have come to this decision. And so happy for anybody who will come to read here that you will be sharing your beautiful words.

    P.S.: I can totally see how that poem would make somebody cry.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks, Annika! I really do think it was our recent chat via IG that pushed me over the edge. Wait, is that a good metaphor? I mean for it to be. Anyway! Thank you for the push, and the reminder that I can just let things unfurl without knowing how it will all go.

  2. abbie {tractormOM}

    I am so proud of you for taking this step. Sometimes amidst the most humbling of chaos and questioning we simply need a place that is our own where we can be. I hope this will, is, becomes this for you.

    You are a talented writer and a person with incredible grace who has the most beautiful and relevant of bits to add to the Universe. I can honestly say with no doubts; this will be the first blog I will actually read. Every post. Every one and will leave thirsting for more to read. Xoxox

    1. Lisa

      Oh, sweetest friend. Your words mean the world. Hoping indeed to find peace and sweetness in this space, during this hard time. Hoping too to feel renewed by working at something interesting and new.

    1. Lisa

      Thanks!!

      I feel like I could listen to nearly every On Being interview about 12 times. Straight. On repeat.

  3. Eunice

    Lisa,

    That’s a beautiful poem, and I’m glad you’re writing in this space- you have a great way with words, and I look forward to hearing more. I’ve had the same problem for a while, on and off, and have struggled with doubts, and I, too, have decided to be more present this year.

  4. sylvia

    just beautiful Lisa, thanks for sharing!
    it’s lovely to share in a space like this, and even though our lives are so different from each other, it’s wonderful to sense a connection (apart from spending our days with tractor-loving little men born in november 09…)

  5. wesley

    I’ve been thinking of you quite a lot lately and wanting to sit and write you a nice long letter. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re doing this. I’m sure you will have a loyal following right off the bat–including me.
    Who knows–perhaps you will spur me into writing again.
    Maybe I’ll start with that letter.

  6. Amy Jo

    What wonderful news! My online world has narrowed so much over the past couple of years but the folks I’ve met, especially in those early days of parenthood via Flickr, are very dear to me. I wish you the best of luck with this project and I look forward to reading your beautiful words and gazing at the world through your lens. Hugs!

  7. Nik

    Lisa, I’m just beyond thrilled to have you writing in this kind of space (a blog) (again?). You’re inspiring and genuine and a joy to know via this wild thing we call the internets. I look forward to reading and commenting. I might even take up the some more blogging myself again. Because you spoke to me here…I struggle with navel gazing and inward torture myself. 😉

  8. Mona Gersky

    Good luck and have meaningful (to you) fun with your new blog. Your mother sent me the link and don’t worry about too much navel gazing, there are far worse habits to indulge in.

  9. Hillary

    This is so lovely, Lisa. Perfectly said and felt and thought out … your photos on IG are such gifts and I’m excited to ‘see’ you here too.
    H.

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