August 18, 2008

Among the blogs I read daily there is a collection of sites written by two beautiful and terribly creative women.  Their lives appear to me to be exercises in artistic expression.  They create art, they write poetic things, they seem to celebrate life – often times just life’s minutiae.

They are beautiful.  I know because I have seen with my own eyes.  They are not lovely just for their faces or figures, but they radiate light (even through horse dirt or after long camping trips!)  They leave sweet comments on my blog that make me smile.

Their lives may not be perfect – whose is? – but they seem to be living it, as opposed to life living them.  They are blessed with kind, caring, supportive partners:  one much loved by me, the other about whom so many loving words I’ve read.

How did I find myself in this very weird place?  Largely disconnected from life?  Investing in my home was the first small awakening I’ve had in years.  My sketch book has been neglected for a decade at least.  Colors, patterns, textures, and the spatial arrangement of my house has been the first time in years that I’ve put my heart in to something just for its beauty.

I love it and get immense joy from it, but I am fearful.  What if I fail?  What if the product is judged harshly?  What if what my heart and eyes find pleasing is merely amateurish to those god-blessed with talent?

When I do something I tend to put my entire heart and soul in to it.  Tell me to learn about something and I’ll soon be able to teach a course on it (vegetarian nutrition, barefoot horse trimming, building databases, attachment parenting, etc.)  I lack the skill of “doing a good job and being happy with the result because not everything deserves your heart and soul”.  Picking a paint color garners the same emotional expenditure as trying to make a relationship work.

For almost a year now I have been relatively content.  My job is good, my child is blooming in to someone exceptionally special, and my day-to-day stress level is low.

Is it content, or is it complacency?  

I love to go out dancing but I go out maybe once every 4 months.  And I am ok with that.  I love to ride but I have not made much effort to do so.  And I am ok with that.  I have not had a date in a year but rarely does that even occur to me.

I feel like I am for once in a long while in command of my own destiny and I am asleep at the wheel.  Living life in cruise control keeps me under the radar and the risk is very low.  The effort involved in just pursuing happiness seems like a burden.

Yes, tonight I plan to take the bull by the horns and turn off cruise control because there is something very quantifiable that I want:  a home.  But how do I become one of those radiant creatures? 

That exquisite inner light attracts more light, and they combine to form a beautiful happy life.

A life shared and not alone.  A life lived and not just had…




Please don’t misconstrue this as sadness.  I see it as the scales falling away from my eyes and seeing what it is that my life is missing.  



  1. Want to know the irony? This is the most beautiful post I think you have ever written.

    I think you have been stretching upwards to that steering wheel for a while now, grabbing hold, and have just pulled yourself up enough to see the road. It is so hopeful, and after all, how can you have hope before you can see your path?

    I also think beautifying your home was one of the best decisions you could have made. Something in that self-care will carry you into your next foray and you will become more aware of yourself, bolder, more decisive.

    Also, fear is a bitch, a slinky, sticky, invasive bitch. Every thing you wrote, I understand (oh lord, do I understand), and will do anything I can to fight that devil with you.

    One more thing. I think “calm” and “complacency” can not be used interchangeably (although they can reside very near each other). After the roller coasters you have been on, there can be no shame, no regret, no (self) judgment for quiet. One thing at a time. You are working on your home, your daughter, your future, that seems to be forward movement in these eyes.

    You are coming into a new time. I love you girl.

  2. Kelly… I hope you have some small clue as to the gratitude I feel that you are in my life. Your wise soul has taught me many things and I continue to aspire to be like you when I grow up.

  3. Oh, what a great post. You sound like you’re having that “things are going to radically change, I can feel it” moment:

    You might like this Buster McLeod guy, and his whole mission to never hedge his bets:

  4. Emily, you are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. You will get your home..you have many people that love you and care for you. Just being able to put in words what your soul is feeling is the first step in your new life.
    I love you.

  5. Mom – you continue to be the best Mom in the entire universe. I love you so much and am so grateful for your unconditional love.

    Decorno – I am a HUGE fan and thank you for turning me on to Buster McLeod. I’m not sure I can never hedge my bets – side effect of motherhood – but I have always taken the safe road when I had a choice and that hasn’t worked out to my best advantage 😉

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