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.