I rowed in a race yesterday. Two actually. Two rowing races. Down in Long Beach at this really cool place called Marine Stadium.
This was quite the experience for me as a new/novice rowing person.
And here’s the thing. While I am an internally competitive person and expect a level of excellence in what I put my mind to doing, I do not think of myself as an outwardly competitive person. My running and biking and triathlon races were internal. In my preparation before I began. And in my process within each race. How well can I do. Against me. How far can I push. Myself. How fast can I run against the clock in my head.
But this, racing in a boat with others who want to race to win. To place. To beat another team. This has not been my headspace as an athlete. And so this was new yesterday.
And I think I like it.
I think I like it because this being in a boat as part of a team and doing my best as a piece of the whole feels good. I like being in this place of being in community with this greater team of not just my boat(s) but all the other boats and rowers. The Masters Rowers and the Junior Athletes. The young 17-year-old who gave me advice because this was my first race day and he’s been doing this since junior high. The teammate who checked that my shoes were secure. This. I really like this.
And with this, within the beauty of these relationships that I am growing into within this community of rowers, I find that I can still settle into my internal reflection that is essential in every challenge I step into.
I was not sure the environment would lend itself to this.
I was worried this regatta would be too frenetic. It wasn’t. Even with the bustle of so many people and so many boats and getting your shoes attached and the right oars in place and your feet positioned and … go!... There was still a sweet calm before the race. I need this.
I need to go to introspection. I need to sit in my mind and play my plan for my race. In a quiet space.
This reminds me of when I was acting. A lot. For a period of time I was acting a lot. On the stage, and in independent films. Commercials and industrials, too. And this acting, I would stand in the wings and wait for my cue before that sweet moment of drama began and I would be sitting in my mind. I would be in the darkness of the wings of the stage, quiet and alone and sweet and calm. With that bit of adrenalin that comes from knowing you are about to step into creativity in a big way. This bit of adrenalin that propels you along the route from the wings to the stage.
And I got to do this here, too. To sit on the sand with a small bit of sun on my face between the clouds and light rain. I got to step into my head preparation that I long for before any outward manifestation of my creative and productive energy come forth.
The environment that contained this rowing race regatta offered this.
I have always been swayed by my environment. It is why it is so important that I live down dirt roads or long driveways. And that my home sits against the nature of a hillside or the edge of a forest or the sea. I need my feet on dirt and my eye to extend out further than the street. It is a blessing that I have been able to find homes like this. Places that contain me. A container of safety. It is external and it is important.
So this race day regatta—It offered this. And I believe I will do more of this. Because of this.
When I woke up yesterday morning, before this race was rowed, I assumed that I would not. Like this. That I would not like this, racing like this. I prepared myself that I wouldn’t like this.
Yesterday was a lovely surprise. A community of rowers that embraced each other, created space for interaction with each other and supported the space for introspection with ourselves.
The day could truly not have been any better.
It started with a conversation where I said something that I thought upset the person I was talking with. And then I felt discomfort and, God forbid I sit in my discomfort and learn from it, I had to fix that and say something more to diffuse the reaction I thought I saw and make amends.
And, of course, the reaction that I thought I saw that I felt compelled to make amends for, that reaction didn’t exist. Except in my mind. Which I then projected outside of me and onto them.
And so I reached out. Hey, I am sorry I projected onto you. I am doing that a lot lately. Please feel free to call me out if I do it again. With a silly emoji smiley face at the end so I didn’t come across as too heavy and cumbersome.
This habit, of projecting out, it kind of lives in the same bucket as the perseverating as preparation that I reflected on last week, and the stories that I lay on others about who I think they are that I mentioned a few weeks before (do ya think there’s a theme here in my current soul journey lessons?)
But my projecting, while it kind of lives in this bucket, it is really a beast all its own. And here’s the thing about this. While these other two, in my head and creating stories patterns, are patterns of behavior I am aware of despite the fact that I sometimes/often can’t stop myself from doing them. This projecting, of my emotions and reactions and feelings onto others, this I don’t know I am doing till after.
And the after often means I don’t know that I did this until I talk about it with the person I did this with. When I reach out to make it all ok, because my discomfort is such that I have to reach out to make it all ok, and you say, um, nope, I wasn’t feeling that. That was all you. That’s when I realize I did this. Again.
I get that, my friend said. And then he said, it’s like looking in a mirror.
And there it is.
I know that we are mirrors for each other in so many really lovely ways. And I see this clearly. When I am triggered, and because I have grown to be grounded enough into self-responsibility around my triggers, I can (eventually) say thank you for showing up in just the right way for me to do my work. You are a mirror for me here.
And when those I love shine a light on my beauty and my gifts at those times when I can’t see myself clearly. You are a mirror here, too.
What I did not realize, until this conversation that I just had, is that you are my mirror in this instance, also.
And here is why I couldn’t see this clearly until now.
Because here, I don’t realize that I am seeing myself reflecting back, because I look like you. So, unlike my triggers and my gifts, where I know it is me, this…this looks like you. My defense mechanisms make this you that I see shining back at me. I see you. And so, of course these emotions that I project out onto you land squarely on you and feel, to me, like they are yours.
So now, what to do with this deep dive down into this projection dilemma.
The first piece of this puzzle of projection is a deeper self-awareness of what is actually going on. My mind is so quick to take my feelings that are uncomfortable and create a story and place that shit right outside of me for someone else to hold. My mind, she does this in an instant. Quicker than an instant, a nano instant.
Along with this too quick mind, I am an empath and a psychic at times which throws a wrench into the process because in these, laying my emotions on others, there are times when I cannot differentiate my gifts from my projections. When I am picking up a feeling that is then settling into me and when I am feeling a feeling that I am laying out on you. When I am receiving information from another and when the thoughts in my mind are mine first.
I need to slow myself down. Sit in the discomfort (there this is again) for longer to reflect more deeply on where I am at. Am I looking through a different filter than I think I am? Am I coming from a place of lacking or a place of disconnect within? Or am I truly grounded in my best and higher self, with gifts a flowin’ and lots of love?
And then once I know where I’m at, I can ask you where you’re at, too.
Seek first to understand and then be understood (Stephen Covey). I use this all the time in my mediations and my coaching with others and forget to use it with myself. (we teach what we need to learn, don’t we)
When I am in this place of not knowing and think am I projecting onto you? but I’m not sure, I just need to ask you. Ah, the simplicity in that.
So I am driving to row practice a couple of weeks ago and sitting in my head and worrying about the future and perseverating (God I love that word) over all the things that I have no control over. Which is a huge problem for me. Because I want to. Control things. Specifically things out of my control.
So I’m driving to rowing and I’m talking to the Universe and I’m asking her to please, um, can you help me here with this because I’m losing my mind.
And she’s so fucking smart. Which is what I really truly love about her but which also really kind of bugs me sometimes. So anyway, I’m driving to rowing and I’m thinking all these thoughts, and I’m really swirling and kind of losing control and getting way too in my head. Help me, I say out loud in the car even though she can hear me whether I say it out loud or not. I’m in pain here. What am I supposed to do? And the Universe, in all her great wisdom, she says row. The Bitch says row. Because that’s all I can do. In this moment.
All I can do on this day, in this moment, is row. The answer is brilliant. (Because all her answers are brilliant). And it makes me laugh, which breaks my stream of incredibly unproductive and also quite painful thought processes. And I was ok. For that moment.
My pattern, with this pattern I have of perseverating (that amazing word again!) as much as I do, is a pattern that goes to a quite negative/worst case scenario place. And I have been doing this for a very long time. And have been thinking about why I have been doing this for a very long time.
It started when my kids were little. Just babies. And my husband would travel all the time for work. And I would sit at home and think about his plane crashing, or a car accident or god know (God knows 😊) what other thoughts there were.
It felt like preparation. It was preparation. I was preparing for what I would do if something terrible happened so that I wouldn’t be surprised when it did. My plan would be in place. My emotions would have warning. I would be ready.
I did some looking into this, early on. Because why am I doing this? And I found Carl Jung. According to Carl, the collective unconscious is made up of a collection of knowledge and imagery that every person is born with and is shared by all human beings due to ancestral experience. And, because our brains interpret uncertainly as danger, thanks to our ancient ancestors, our brains are designed to expect the worst.
So when we were cave dwellers and the strong went out to hunt the wild boar and the rest of us were left in the cave with not much food for our children, we had to prepare ourselves that they might not come home. That food might not be arriving. That we would possibly be on our own. And so we got ready. In case they didn’t come back.
And this made a lot of sense then. And sometimes makes a lot of sense, now. Until it doesn’t.
Because what happens, when we worry about all these things we can’t control, is we are far away from where we actually are. Which is in the moment we are in. And so I am missing all these moments. I am missing all these moments because I am worrying about the things in the future I have to prepare myself for. That I really don’t have to prepare myself for at all.
I am recognizing that I am in the habit now of doing this. It’s not a mindful decision to reflect on the future to prepare for the worst. I just seem to slip into my future more often than not. And so I am working on breaking my habit.
The first step is dismantling the justification that I can’t help this because my ancestors set me up. I like to use that excuse so that I can continue to stay in my head and out of the moments of my life. Why I want to stay in my head is a puzzle, it’s painful in here. And so I am catching myself when I do this and letting the ancient ones off the hook.
And I am diving into new things. As I create new patterns in my spirit and my soul, I am called to create new patterns in the movement of my body. I am rowing. I tried Aerial Lyra and I am doing Pole (It’s ballet on a pole, I am in heaven). I am filling up my soul by filling up my body. And in turn, I am in the moment of these movements and not in the meanderings of my mind.
And I am writing again here. Behavioral change needs consistency and accountability. So I am sending it all out into the world each week. Making the sharing of these writings my declaration of what I am stepping into.
And always there is gratitude. Thank you obsessive brain, it’s amazing that you are so creative and I know you are showing up because you believe you are helping me. But I am doing this right now. And then I am back in this moment. Right here.
And so this image that I share, from an idea that I stole off the internet--but isn’t it so cool that I did it with Nava!—it truly does capture what I am striving for. Basically, I want to be my dog.
I’m drawn to flowers and plants and things that grow from the earth. And for most of my life, I was a terrible plant owner. I was not sure when to water them, I didn’t know when to talk to them. They tended to die on me.
But not lately. A while back my middle daughter convinced me that some plants in my home would be a good thing. Which I kind of agree with because they are lovely and they are a life force that supports my well-being as they add oxygen to the space around me. And which I also kind of don’t agree with because it means that there is another living thing that I need to take care of. But that’s a whole other conversation.
My daughter convinced me and I chose to stand in the I am bringing plants into my space bucket. And I am actually doing pretty well with them. They’ve lasted this long and they’re all still green, though one of them did become very brown when I sat him in the sun for a period of time thinking he would like that and then learned that he is not a sun plant.
But I’ve nursed him back to health and while he’s very small now he’s coming along and he’s happy to see me when I come down to my desk in the morning.
So, these plants…
They hold a very deep importance for me, and so my learning to care for them, for them to survive with me and perhaps even thrive with me, this is a big deal.
Because in another time (life, incarnation, realm, space) I was a Witch and brewed potions to calm souls and heal beings with this life force that comes up from this earth. And now, in this lifetime, this calling to be surrounded by plant medicine is a constant pull. And these plants now, in my home, this is good.
Before I was able to land in this sweet gift of caring for these growing beings of leaf and stem, I laid these plants on my skin. Tattoos of flowers and fauna, leaves and bark dance across my body. The intention is twofold.
The need to have these plants on me is an honoring of the gifts I had with them in other times. The choice to have these plants on me is the act of bringing onto me those I love deeply. My flowers and trees, leaves and stems, they are the visual representation of my family based on Celtic Tree Astrology.
Developed from the Druid's knowledge of earth cycles and their profound connection with trees, Celtic Tree Astrology is grounded in the belief that the formation of our personality and behavior is based on the time of our birth within the lunar system of the thirteen cycles of the moon. Each cycle is linked to one of the sacred Celtic trees that the Druids believed were vessels of infinite wisdom.
I am the Ash Tree. In Celtic Mythology, the Ash tree is the World Tree—the tree that spans between worlds and the tree that represents The Tree of Life.
My son and middle daughter and my husband are all Holly—one of the most beloved and respected trees and the noble one among Celtic Tree Astrology. The Holly possesses protective qualities.
My youngest daughter is Hawthorn—one of the most sacred trees and the Illusionist. Just like Gemini in Western Astrology, this shapeshifter isn't all that it appears to be. Fairies live under the Hawthorn tree as its guardians.
And there are more, for over these last four years, four new souls have joined this family lineage and only recently joined in this forest on my skin.
Two are born under the Birch Tree. The first of the tree symbols, the Birch is the symbol of new beginnings, regeneration, hope, new dawns and the promise of what is to come.
One is the Elder Tree. The last in the Celtic Tree Astrology Pantheon, the Elder Tree embodies the seasonal energy of diminishing of light, the last leaves dropping, the plant's concentrated essence sinking into the root, the quietude and mystery of the earth itself in a wintery landscape.
And one is like me, the Ash Tree. The Enchanter. The possessor of vivid imagination and deep intuition, the Ash is drawn towards the arts and writing and all matters spiritual.
These four grandsons, nestled in and inked on my back, are the manifestation of the continuation of life. They are the as yet unknown opportunities. They are the creators of what is to happen. They are their next step in the evolution of their lifetimes—a huge undertaking and still a small step in the journey of their souls.
I am in awe of these children and the placing of them on my back as a part of the whole is an important task for me. In the nurturing of all that grows—their leaves intermingled within the other plants on my body means that they are held within this sacred fold as they grow forward into this time called their life time. This placing of their leaves is a hallowed act. It is an honoring and a welcoming, as it is a marking of time and place. Adding these children to the whole in this permanent way is my way of thanking them for choosing to become part of this family. Of saying how grateful I am for their contribution to our tribe.
~ Thank you to from 'onetreeplanted.org' and 'treecounsil.ie' ~
I was (kind of) a ballerina on Halloween last Monday. I am (kind of) a ballerina all the time. Because I was a ballerina for a really long time. And so being a ballerina is one of the ways I think of who I am. I have been reflecting on this for many years. On what it means to lay on different definitions of me. And whether they are me.
I have been reflecting on this for a long time and have discovered a deep appreciation for my stories as a place where my intuition and creativity live. This is where I process and learn. This is where I see what fits. And after these many years of exploring, I have gained a really good handle on when I am me and when I am my stories and when each part of me should be the me that shows up. The balance is there
But recently something new came up and it took me by surprise. It started as I shared a self-reflection, and what was mirrored back was an ah ha moment for me. And then a necessary evaluation of the stories that I create around the people around me.
I know that just as I lay on different definitions of me, I also do this to others. And again, this creativity around those around me often times is the opportunity to explore the possibility of you. What I did not know was that there are times when I project onto others these stories of who they are, not as a creative exercise in discovery, but because these stories are what I need others to be. For me.
And now that I am starting to break this down, I am realizing what a terrible disservice I do when the stories get so big and the expectations of how I want these people I love to be become really important. And I am realizing I have a lot invested in this.
I have a lot invested in the stories I have created because I have a lot invested in my needs. It feels narcissistic. And is self-centered. It is certainly self-serving.
I want to make amends. I want to show up to the people in my life who I have projected my needs onto and created a story about, and I want to tell them how sorry I am for that.
But there’s more, because in this process of making amends, I realize I have to make amends to me.
I want to make amends to others. Because I love them deeply and laid a lot of stuff on them to carry. Even if they didn’t know this. (energetically they always knew this)
And I have to make amends to me.
To say to myself I forgive you for the need you laid on others. I forgive you for the disrespect of others. I forgive myself for the projection of the stories I created because I am not able to sit just with me.
I forgive me as I take the fiction, the illusion, the stories—and I see them. And I start to break them down. So that I can differentiate when my thoughts are creativity and an imagining of possibility. And when they become expectation as the balance shifts and the intention is heavy.
This is where my work is now. I know how to show up without my tutu. Now it’s time to let go of the expectation that you will always dance in my ballet.
So, I live in the soul connection world where I get to drop into my pineal gland and have conversations with other people across energetic fields of love and connection. And I live in my human body and navigate my daily life through the human experience. The human experience is harder than the soul dance experience. The soul dance experience is beautiful.
If I could live in the soul dance all the time that would be friggin’ incredible because it’s surrounded by love and unconditional acceptance and everyone speaks from their higher self because they are their higher self and it feels fucking amazing. Human experience not so much. There are definitely those exquisite moments of joy and gratitude and connection with the other humans that I’ve chosen to incarnate with down here in our human bodies. But there’s angst and trauma and loss and grief and misunderstanding and miscommunication and despair and loneliness and so when I leave that to tap into my conversations that exist above this realm of existence there’s always that fleeting moment where I say God I wish I can stay up here and God laughs because he always laughs when I say things like this.
(quick note: my experience of God as he appears to me, is male energy. That doesn’t mean your experience of him, as he appears to you, is the same… and what a good idea for a separate post, right?)
Back to God. So, I say what I say, and he laughs. He actually laughs before I even finish saying what I say because he doesn’t have to wait to respond until I complete my thought since he knows what it’s going to be anyway. That’s how I know it’s him talking. It’s a timing thing. The Universe does this, too. (here’s that gender thing again) She absolutely knows my thoughts before they are formed and speaks up quite quickly. And then there is the voice inside me, the wise part. I call her my Witness. She sits on my shoulder and looks like a fairy. She also responds before thoughts are formed. She didn’t used to. Sometimes it took a good ten minutes before she would speak up. But now she is quick. And she loves me.
So, I have those fleeting moments where I say God I wish I could live up here and he laughs and then I say no I can’t do that because that’s not where I’m supposed to be. I’ve chosen to ground down here. And I go back into my body.
And that’s the game of spiritual bypass. Because we want to bypass all this shit. Because it doesn’t feel good and it’s challenging and we cry a lot. But we can’t because then we’ll end up back up in Soul Land with our cast of players, who showed up exactly the way we asked them to so we could learn the lessons that we’re supposed to learn, will say what the fuck are you doing here? Now you’re going to have to go back in your next life and do all this shit all over again. because you bypassed it this time around.
And then here I am again, back in the human body, doing the work of being human.
Self-portraits, September 2016, Monterey, Massachusetts
Pineal Meditation, by Kelly Schwegel,
These pictures are a capture of the last 10 years of my life. Upper left is 2012, the center, 2022. A capturing, a rendering, a visual reflection on growth and change, grief and joy, love and loss and loss again with lots of love thrown in. And through it all a constant stepping into Crone. In a big way.
But let me step back to the beginning.
I’m sitting in this law school class looking at this professor and thinking how much I just fucking hate her and as my thoughts crystallize clear in my mind she spins around and she stares right at me because she heard me. She fucking heard my silent thoughts as I sent them like daggers into her face—that’s how much I dislike this woman in that instant that she opened her mouth to teach me the law.
I can’t remember if I held her gaze or not. I’d like to think I did because I’m a bad ass and that would be what would give me a sense of pride which is truly a terrible emotion to feel when it is toxic like this. But in all likelihood, I didn’t. I probably looked for a split second and then looked away thinking that if our eyes weren’t meeting she couldn’t read my thoughts even though she could. And then I proceeded to try to pay attention and take the terrible notes that I take because I don’t know how to take notes because I’m an auditory learner and writing other people’s information down escapes me.
And then all of a sudden class was over, probably in the next two minutes even though it was probably an hour later, and I packed up my books to walk out of the classroom and she was standing at the door.
I looked at her to thank her in my absolutely disingenuous way as a coping mechanism for my embarrassment and shame because she read my mind, and she looked deeply at me and said I know you want to do this work, but you are not in Crone yet. You are still in Mother. And she smiled at me. What the fuck, right?
You see I had been stepping into my powers more. I was absolutely in Mother, with three children ages not even 1, 3 and 5, and I was dabbling a little bit in witchcraft. It resonated with me at that time, though I realized very quickly that the goddess power is not necessarily the only power I possessed. But at that moment it felt good—it felt feminine and in alignment with who I was showing up as in the world.
And my psychic powers were really strong. They always had been since I was little and I foretold the future and a ghost lived in my room who messed up my stuff. And now, with my kids quite young and during my moon cycle, my powers were strong. And I was playing in them quite often.
I’m thinking that it was all good. And then this woman that I fucking hated in an instant when I saw her face as she started to teach me the law said that I couldn’t do that now because I was in Mother. And my energy needed to flow outward to the care of my children and the nurturing of their power not inward to the care of myself and the nurturing of mine.
I truly don’t remember what I said to her in response. I think I might’ve said how do you know this? But I might’ve just looked at her. In my rewrite of my story, I said something wise but that might not have been true either. And she said we’ll talk about this more.
And in that instant this woman that I hated so much as she started to teach me the law became my mentor. And I loved her. And this experience has stayed with me forever and has become the foundation of literally all the work that I do and all the work that I teach other people to do around their powers and around their cycles of knowledge and gifts of intuition.
And when young women come to me as they are holding their babies and tell me their secrets, I tell them it will be hard to do this work right now because you are in Mother not in Crone so take your focus and move it outward to the nurturing and care of your children. And when the time comes, you too can step fully into your power.
I have my family on my back. In tattoo form. A montage of trees and plants, flowers and leaves. They are the rendering of images that arise from Celtic Tree Astrology—the belief that we are born not under the power of the stars but under the power of the trees. Why this resonates so deeply with me I am not completely sure. I know that the need to have plants on my body came before the desire to have the trees that represent my family on my self. I feel—when I sit deep in that knowing that lives in my belly—that I was once a priestess of plants and flowers. A maker of potions and a guardian of all that grows from the earth. But in this lifetime the gift of growing that which begins in the dirt alludes me. The desire is there yet the skill has not passed through on this current journey of humanhood and so I place flowers and leaves on my skin in homage to the gifts of past lives.
I am the Ash Tree. In Celtic Mythology, the Ash tree is the World Tree—the tree that spans between worlds and the tree that represents The Tree of Life.
My son and middle daughter and my husband are all Holly—one of the most beloved and respected trees and the noble one among Celtic Tree Astrology, the Holly possesses protective qualities.
My youngest daughter is Hawthorn—one of the most sacred trees and the illusionist. Just like Gemini in Western Astrology, this shapeshifter isn't all that it appears to be. Fairies live under the Hawthorn tree as its guardians.
I am thinking lately about this forest on my back because two new souls have entered my family's lineage. Two new babies are now of this world and I feel the call to represent them on my skin. Conveniently (or not) they are both born under the Birch Tree. The first of the tree symbols, the Birch is the symbol of new beginnings. regeneration, hope, new dawns and promise of what is to come.
The promise of what is to come.
This meaning is lovely and right and makes sense to me. For this promise of the future, these babies hold this space. There is no expectation in this but merely the truth that they are the manifestation of the continuation of life. They are the as yet unknown opportunities. They are the creators of what is to happen. They are their next step in the evolution of their lifetimes—a huge undertaking and still a small step in the journey of their souls.
I am in awe of this and of them and the placing of them on my back as a part of the whole is an important task for me. In the nurturing of all that grows, their leaves intermingled within the others plants on my body means that I can feed them and hold them as they too grow forward into this time called their life times. This placing of the leaves in still to be determined locations is sacred. It is an honoring and a welcoming while it is a marking of time and place. Adding these two babies to the whole in this permanent way is my way of thanking them for choosing to become part of this family that they now belong to.
And so I will make time to get my ink on. And will find a rendering of the Birch Tree that captures what these new beings mean to me as they compliment the art on my back, a sign of their contribution to our tribe.
I am sitting here this morning thinking that this is the morning of the last day of 2018 and feeling this need to write something. And then sitting in the need for this and trying to figure out if I want to write something. And then examining the expectation that I have obviously now created for myself and figuring out what that exactly is and finally coming full circle but not really because I am ending up in a completely new place not in the place I started even though I am at this place where I am feeling the need to write something this morning.
I started this weekly writing that has turned into, over this last year, a monthly or a bit more than a monthly writing, in December 2014. This is four years ago. This is really cool. There are a lot of writings here. Many are deep in introspection. Some are light and filled with my mind's musing. Many, many (many many many many) are about my dog because she is perfect. And a few of them are funny.
These are the ones I want to write about today. Or rather share about today. The funny ones. The ones that I still think about or read again and laugh out loud with.
And to give credit where credit is due, this journey into the funny is inspired by my daughter, Teagan, who shared with me this morning that she had read last night my very first writing and how funny it was. Is. And I went, ah ha, because I had this feeling that I wanted to write something this morning. But didn't have something I wanted to write about. Until then. Now. And now I am writing about this. Finding the funny.
My very first writing. A funny trip down my aging body. But really a deep need to connect to others: Why I Wear Very Good and Extremely, Obscenely Expensive Bras and Other Healthy Ways of Coping with a Changing Body.
My parents came to visit and we had a very full day. CVS played a huge role and we ate donuts: CVS, Sinfully Sugary Donuts and a Salad.
While the conversation around my perfect dog is constant—how could it not be considering how amazing she is—there are other times that I spoke about other pets. This is one of those times: This Is Ophelia.
And this is another one: This is About Phoenix - and All The Other Pets We've Had.
There are still others that make me laugh. Some a lot. Some not as much. But laughter still. Moments perhaps in a deeper writing where laughter still springs forth as I read and am transported to that time when I was writing. Laughter about what I was writing about or what was happening during the writing—as often the experience of writing the writing is the most funny of all.
Here are two of those: the family bed took on a life of its now in our lives: The Family Bed, and the brilliantly coined adapta-jeans. . . need I say more? We Are In Nantucket But This Is Not About That.
And so you have it. A finding the funny in reflecting back on four years of writing. And a photo of my perfect puppy in wings. :-)
Happy New Year. Thank you for reading my writing today.
And it was just amazing.
An afternoon of open heart and deep sharing and community connection and these amazing musicians and talented artists offering their work and this yummy food and great wine and cold beer and we sold books that allows us to give even more to our community through the Greater Goods Relief Fund.
And we talked about Paradise, California and Malibu, California and we held these towns in our hearts and in our prayers because we understand. And we talked about climate change and our earth and we honored the spirits of the North and the South and the East and the West and gave thanks to their power and promised to honor and care for this land.
And I met people I already knew through social media and through the making of this book. Faces were added to names that I had been saying out loud for soon it will be ten months and to meet these people who gave their stories and their photographs and their art and their heart so willingly and with such grace and candor—this was amazing for me.
And we made the front page of the New York Times! I mean...the NEW YORK TIMES!!!!
I feel blessed to have been able to create this book with my book partner and sweet friend and I feel such joy that this launch was such a beautiful gathering. To be able to support my community—the tangible losses of home and job and the emotional grief that comes when a town is surrounded by fire—this fills my heart.
At one point a friend pulled my eyes up for a moment from the books I was signing as the Ojai sunset graced us with a beautiful pink sky and I took it all in.
Thank you for reading my writing today.
FROM THE FIRE: Ojai Reflects on the Thomas Fire
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.