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.
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.
Collected Poems, 1948-1984