Friday, September 17, 2010

Setting Scraps of Light on Fire

Scraps of light through the adobe ruins next to the grove

Today is my one year blogoversary.  It is this and only this that has finally gotten me to sit down and write a post.  I have missed blogging and think about it almost every day, but my life has become so full of other things that I haven't had the inspiration.  To find some, I walked over to the church today, but there were too many people around so I ended up in the grove, where I sat and wrote this post by hand.   I have found myself sitting in the grove more often lately than in the church courtyard.  It's green again, although the mass graves of trees are still untended.

So much has happened since I last posted, that I don't know where to begin.  Should I tell you about my busy life?  The immense sense of loss and sadness I've been feeling?  Should I talk about how disconnected I've become from my writing?  

Or maybe I should try to be more positive, and tell you about my discoveries about bats, or the white cat I keep seeing, or my lemon tree dream.  But all these things are moments that have passed, inspirations that have faded in the face of too much work.

I'm not happy.  I know I need to just accept the way my life is right now, surrender to it.  Believe me, I'm working on that moment by moment, but there is a very sad little girl inside me who wants to come out and play.  And I don't know what to tell her to make her stop banging on the door.

And I realize how much I miss you all, my blogging friends.  It's not only the writing that I miss, it's the community, the support.  I feel very alone in my life these days, very much like I'm carrying a heavy burden by myself.  Stumbling and faltering under it.

But life goes on, and I just keep taking the next step.  At times I have glimpses of all this as a journey of significance, but mostly it just feels like stumbling in the dark.  I get tired of trying to hang onto the scraps of light that are tossed me.  I get mad at God for not giving me more, and then I'm ashamed for feeling that way.

And that's why I need - NEED - to write about those scraps, because it's the only way for me to hold onto them as guides, as reminders of the greater journey, the better story.  I need to tell you about last week when I had both a butterfly and a dragonfly on my finger in the same day.  They were both trapped in my house at different points, and I freed them.  

I need to tell you about dreaming of a sugarlaced lemon tree so glorious that gazing up into it was like eating the sun.

I need to tell you about the lessons bats have been trying to teach me about surrender and rebirth, about echolocation, in which bats navigate in the dark by using their voices to create sounds that reverberate off objects - the ability to see with the ears, to hear with the voice.  Because by telling you, I have a greater chance of really learning the lessons, internalizing and integrating them.  I too hear with my voice.  I learn by teaching.

And now, just by writing all this, I feel lighter, happier, inspired, free.  It occurs to me that this post follows a similar structure to some of the biblical psalms that start out with a lament and end with praise because by writing the lament the psalmist has seen the joy again.

Now I see that the writing I haven't been doing had hardened around me like ice, that scraps of light left unshared leave me cold, and once that happens, I have to write into the cold to break through it.

The fire must be tended or it dies out.  The fire must be fed, and for me that means writing it. 


  1. Oh wow! I'm rushing off to work but seeing you had a new post had to come over and now have to say something. I love this line: Now I see that the writing I haven't been doing had hardened around me like ice, that scraps of light left unshared leave me cold, and once that happens, I have to write into the cold to break through it. Wonderful realisation of a realisation. And I know exactly how you feel: I haven't been writing either, too busy, and have become all cold and stiff. Nice to have you back, your scraps are great.

  2. Wonderful contemplation, Polli. It's full of insight. Have you seen James Baraz's book, Awakening Joy? It's based on an internet course I took that offers suggestions about, well, awakening joy.

    Do you sing? If you do, find yourself a ukulele and join your local ukester group. Start one if there isn't one yet. Guaranteed to get you smilin' or at least singing the blues.

    Meanwhile, write, my friend. Write.

  3. To see your post is a moment of delight for me, of anticipated delight, like when you gaze at your sugarlaced lemon tree.

    I love your voice and what you have to say. I very much like your description of the bats. I also believe that Godde is waiting to love us in the depth of our own darkness...

    I can feel your loneliness and hear the little girl banging on the door who wants to come out and play.

    It is good to find you here. A precious moment in my day.

    Blessings, polli :-)

  4. oh polli - i think i could have written every word of this post for you - although i don't feel so much sad these days as in a state of... i don't even have the word - curiosity? wonder? confusion? dissociation? dormancy? cocooned? waiting? hmmmm... perhaps if i keep writing the break through will happen. in the meantime, i join you, my friend, and hold you in my heart as i travel to foreign places (both locally and abroad).

    you have blessed my morning with your words and i am grateful for your presence, your honesty and your willingness to be here in whatever way you can.


  5. I just keep writing through it all. It means for some pretty uninspired posts, but when I look back, I know that I soldiered through and let the words that needed to get out - get out.

  6. Oh, I miss your posts. It is nice to see you again.
    And that little girl pounding on the door?! Please...simply let her in. God let my little girl back in...or should I say He knew it was safe enough to let her back in...and all she wants is to sit next to me. She doesn't ask of anything else.
    Love to you!

  7. Tell us about all of it. (I read this last night, and meant to comment earlier, but I had to hit the sack).

    I want to hear about the bats. And the dragonflies and butterflies. And the lemon trees. And how sad you've been feeling, and how disconnected you've been with your writing (I'm right there with you on the latter).

    'Cause those little scraps of light you shine on us really illuminate our days, Polly. They truly do. You shine on more people than you realize.

  8. Dear Pollinatrix,

    yes, I think "just write it" is wise advice. I'm sorry you've felt out of sorts, have felt my own version as well, off and on in the past few months and so offer my commiseration from out in California.

    Maybe it has been an equinoctial occurrence, something about being at a midpoint, midway, neither here nor there, neither light nor dark... or maybe I'm just rambling, though it's probably true that it's something that'll change, eventually.

    Hang in there! :-)

  9. Eryl- I'm glad you enjoyed my scraps. Busy-ness is my problem too. The balance between work and the rest of my life is definitely off these days.

    Dan - You always have the most wonderful suggestions of resources! Thank you. I will check out that book.

    I do sing, badly. Dancing is really the thing that "gets me smilin.'" With my schedule right now, that means turning up Pandora and dancing in my living room for a few minutes.

  10. Thank you, Claire. It brings me joy to read your comment.

    Lucy - I know you are traveling right now and probably won't read this for a while, but my thoughts are with you on your journey, and I hope it brings you many blessings.

  11. Kate - I love the fact that you post so regularly. I have four jobs and four kids, and just don't have time to do that these days. But you're right, I have to find time to squeeze writing in whenever I can.

    Jenny - I have taken to heart your suggestion to let the little girl sit beside me

  12. Wow, Postie, thank you! You've brought tears of gratitude to my eyes.

    Neighbor - Yes, I think you're right. This equinox has seemed to be an intense time for many folks, a time of reckoning at deeper levels. The turmoil I've been experiencing strikes me now as preparation for a quantum leap.

  13. That was eloquent, sensual and deeply moving. That was WHY you MUST go back to writing here and why we must, as your readers, continue to delight in lemon tree dreams, the sad little girl, bats, butterflies, and "mass graves of trees (that) are still untended".
    Where else can they be found but with you, Susan?
    Come back.

  14. Thank you, EC, my sweet friend. I wish I could be "back" more than my life will currently allow. But being forced to neglect blogging has sharply highlighted the need for me to rearrange my work life as soon as possible, which unfortunately, won't be until December. Is it wrong to already be looking forward to Christmas?

  15. I'm so glad you're posting. I hope you keep it up. I read about a writer yesterday who has, over his desk, these framed words: "I had no idea I was going to write that."

    Writing is good - moves energy outwards. One of my teachers used to say that depression is the condition of too much energy spiraling inwards, not enough spiraling outwards. Keep writing. Please?

  16. Hi, just wondering how you're doing... hope all's well. :-)

  17. I also find that writing is about communicating with myself as much as with's about discovery, for writer and reader, and a way to laugh at the world, too. I am so glad to see you are rejoining the circle. We've missed you.

  18. Hi neighbor. Thanks for asking. Yes, all is well - just very busy, no time for blogging, unfortunately.

    DG - Well, I'm not rejoining the circle as much as I'd like to be. I miss you all too. I'm hoping after this semester I'll have more time for blogging.

    Part of it though is not just time - it's that I'm doing more writing for the Taos News, and that sucks up all my writing juice. I love it, but I also greatly miss doing my own writing.

  19. Hey you. Please write. Am becoming anxious over here.

    You do not want me to become anxious do you? You know full well that I am trying to quit smoking! Your not writing is gonna upset me and I might have to light up.

    Don't you feel bad now? I knew you would. So, where's my new post?



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