Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lost in Translation

I am lost.

Ordinarily I feel an extraordinary connection to All That Is and, on many occasions, to the Flow of Life. When I am aligned with the flow, I am carried along by its current so that even very hard work feels like play and every day feels like the opening of possibilities.

Right now, even basic things require more strength than I can gather. Like a tire driven over a big curb or into a deep pothole, it feels like I'm working in opposition to the goal: lots of activity, no forward movement.

The other day a friend laughingly said she was a "genius" at something or another. It struck me that there's not one thing on earth that I believe myself to be a genius at. Not one. Eventually I did decide that I'm quite good at teaching others what I know through my books, but that's as close as I've ever come and trust me, it's not genius.

Whether or not I am a genius at something is not the issue here. Instead, it is believing that is important and so at first I thought this ennui was a crisis of confidence. I spent much of the last couple of days exploring the idea of confidence--where it comes from and why and how one acquires it.

You'd think that a long, long (my dear friend Bryan would point out that I'm old, after all) history of completing tasks with a fair amount of success would generate confidence. Writing for example: the books I've written or been the lead editor for have sold more than a million copies collectively. Wouldn't you think that would give me some confidence in my ability to tell a story? So far, not so much.

Art's another great example. A friend with an MFA saw one of my drawings recently and told me she'd worked with graduate students who couldn't produce such subtle shading and line. She wasn't trying to be nice, she was making a point when she said it. Three-quarters of being an artist is believing yourself to be one, yet I can't imagine getting to that point.

Lately I have spent far toooo much time lying on the sofa watching mindless TV, an electronic pacifier. It soothes my jangled nerves and comforts my outer layers while shoving my insides out of alignment much the way a real pacifier does to a child's palette if they cling to it too long. I know this. Still, faced with a little free time, I find myself horiztonal, staring at illuminated movement rather than moving to find my own illumination.

Looking back over what I've written, it sounds like clinical depression and there may be some element of that. But don't cry for me, Argentina. When I reconnect to the Source, All will be well. And all will be well. And all manner of things will be exceedingly well. (Juliana of Norwich)

Connected to the flow, in the stream of life, I feel charmed. I find things like blogging and writer's workshops and this wonderful community of souls. Fascinating experiences find me and I glide from one interesting encounter to another.

THAT's my life, that's my experience when I live from my soul and I will find my way back to it, to a connection so deep I hear the heartbeat of the earth in the lapping of waves and feel mountains singing to me in my bones. I once stopped hiking to sit on a large rock in the midst of a wild blueberry patch on an Alaska tundra, convinced I could hear nearby mountains singing to me. They told me not to fear being different, not to worry that my path's not "normal." Their song told me to live my own life and it echoes in my head and heart even now—Lindsey Buckingham urging me to go my own way. Really. As I sat on that rock, I could hear Fleetwood Mac singing "Go Your Own Way" and thought it was a Message from God. (BTW--don't try this. I could have and probably should have been eaten by bears sitting alone in a fruit-filled berry patch on an Alaskan tundra in mid-August.)

Having written this all out, I feel better. More hopeful. A connection that strong hasn't disappeared, just gone dormant for a bit. I'll find it again. Some small thing will happen and I'll follow its trail as though a string had been left for me to follow. Life is both ebb and flow. This is the ebb. Flow's got to follow.

Damn, I wish it would hurry.


~NanCourt~ said...

Not to stress or worry, Sweet Jerri.
We all have to change gears eventually. One cannot run in full-out drive, non-stop, or something wears out. Just think of this time as idling in neutral, resting the drive chain for a bit.
You will find your direction, your momentum again. If...for now...medicating yourself with some horizontal tubing is what you need...that is fine, really. There is no way your spirit will evaporate. It is too much of who you are and what you offer.
Just allow yourself to take this break and be assured that more than likely, a tide is swelling deep inside that will wash over you with renewed energy and inspiration.......and we will be here, cheering you on. {{hugs!}}

Speedy Chick said...

I believe everthing happens for a reason, even the bad stuff. Sometimes drifting away from the path takes you to the most beautiful places. Plus finding the path again is much more rewarding than never having left it in the first place.

Lots of Hugs from Speedy Chick and Little Speedy:)

Mike said...

I think it`s that "after Christmas" thing happening here Jerri. Some of us are feeling low, annoyed and frustrated.

Remiman said...

Strawberries everyday lose their attraction.

Suzy said...

Dearest Jerri, you are just resting and regrouping for the next round of life. You are the last person I would label as having a "dormant" period. My busiest, most productive days are a shadow compared to your talent, art, writing and the oh so many incredible characteristics you display, along with your love and compassion for others.

Michelle O'Neil said...

I really believe sometimes the lows are just a gathering of momentum for the next push.

I'm learning through many wise teachers, to think of the next better thought. I don't have to jump all the way to joy,(too overwhelming to think I should just be able to snap out of it), but what would make me feel a teeny bit better right now? Just that little bit of relief is very powerful.


Mystic Wing said...

This, too.

Such states have things they can teach us, and vavigating them successfully helps us teach others.

Darkness is made scarier if you're addicted to light.

LIsten to the words of your other friends above. They know what they're talking about.

You are, by the way, the youngest old girl I know.

Nancy said...

Without a dorment period, the tulip wouldn't bloom. You are gathering strength for your spring and its right around the corner!

holly said...

Oh, Jerri~

Sounds like we are in the same post-holiday place. As so many of us seem to be - it echoes all over this cyber circle.

I like what Michelle said about the lows being a period to recollect strength.

And, I love the words you left me on my blog. I do believe it won't be this hard forever, but it's so comforting to hear from someone so many steps futher down this path!

And, genius? You transforming from a woman who "didn't know how to change a light bulb" to a woman who's sold millions of books teaching others to do it themselves - that's genius, girl!

I think of you, hear you telling that story, EVERY DAY.

Thank you! LOVE to you.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

There is as much to be gained by the periods of rest, as the periods of high activity. Don't fight the pull to rest, embrace it. Rest. Rest. Rest. Humans aren't all that different from bears, this is the time to hibernate, retreat, prepare for the spring.

I can't wait to see your spring, Jerri! It will be in full blossom very soon! I know it!


liz elayne said...

i am hoping you find time to sit in the quiet and reconnect. but rest as long as you need to...sometimes in the resting we find the connection.

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

"I once stopped hiking to sit on a large rock in the midst of a wild blueberry patch on an Alaska tundra, convinced I could hear nearby mountains singing to me."
Knowledge like this is genius ! That is the best gift of knowing to have!