Not that the past is always a bad thing. "Dark blur" can simply be interpreted as baggage. Something one wishes to shed in order to step lightly into the things to come. Many lovely things happened last year; many frustrating and sad things also happened. The first few weeks of a new year blend my hopes and fears, my wishes and dreams, my reality and my feelings of inadequacy into a gloppy, green mash.
The past few days have been whirlwind. Brain fog coupled with that Great Cloud of Unknowing that whispers each January blinded me vision and kept me from writing. I sought solace in books and found myself returning once more into the comforting arms of the words of Madeleine L'Engle.
In "A Circle of Quiet", L'Engle continually returns to the concept of ontology : the word about the essence of things; the word about being.
The essence of being. What, I wonder, am I BE-ing? What AM I and what did I used to be? Deep questions, like snow drifts, and I'm huddled against them this night.
When I was young I saw myself on the cusp of 40 in an entirely different place - geographically and professionally - than I am now. I was an ambitious little girl, wanting to be someone, something; I wanted to be famous and have my name on every bookshelf, in every CD collection in the world.
And that pursuit made me miserable.
What am I BE-ing? Hmm...that shall take a bit longer to unravel. For now, I sit, editing, researching, reading back issues of British Country Living. In a few moments I'll heat up spaghetti, wash a few more dishes in my too-small-sink, and continue to let the kittens fight over who gets to sleep in Mom's lap this time. A British documentary about art thieves is on the telly and my coffee sits atop the radiator to keep it warm.
I suppose one might say I am BE-ing. Just being. Taking deeper breaths than I took yesterday after a long, internal feud with myself. My perceived inadequacies. Deep breath and a clearer vision. These small things of being are what make life worth living. Goals are ahead of me; work lies deep against my dreams but I must not lose sight of the lovely little things that make breathing (BE-ing) easier, lighter, more wondrous.
It is from these breaths that art is born.
It is from this lightness of being that stories are told.
Be kind to yourselves, Dear Reader.
Let January cloud past and leave you with a smile and a clear vision of the next eleven months.