We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. ~Anais Nin
It’s a little embarrassing really, but here I am, beginning again.
You see, I’ve been angry.
The awful president who won’t go away. The exhaustive amount of energy I expend wondering if someone I know voted for the man still supports him.
Guns. The exhaustive amount of energy I expend wondering if the gun owners I know still think everyone should have the right to own an assault rifle (because they’re fun, you know).
Healthcare. Do our leaders really believe that people with pre-existing conditions should be unable to afford healthcare?
And I broke my hand this summer. That’s not why I haven’t been writing although it did make it quite difficult to type for about 6 weeks. Walking along the waterfront in Savannah, Georgia on our second night of vacation, I slipped on a slick patch and went down fast on my right hand. No alcohol involved, only excitement, gawking. So much noise, so many restaurants, all the people–I was delighted in that vulnerable, childlike way. Completely open to the sights and sounds and smells and then wham.
“I broke my hand,” I said to Audrey who was next to me, the look in her soft eyes wanting so badly for me to be okay.
After that, and for the next two days, I didn’t want to consider it was broken. We were on vacation. We had trolley tickets and a haunted tour planned for the evening. I’d never been to Savannah, and after Savannah we were on our way to Hilton Head for a week.
But when I finally made it to an urgent care, the x-ray showed a break.
I’m not good at being broken. Well, hell. Who is?
A month ago, I still couldn’t comfortably hold my Elizabeth Warren coffee mug in my right hand. But this morning I can. That’s how healing goes, isn’t it. A little at a time.
A couple of days ago, I reread my last blog post. Each year I post about Audrey’s diagnosis with diabetes, and I read that post, and the waterworks began. Eesh. But here’s something interesting. It wasn’t the story that made me cry. I mean, Audrey is doing great. She’s away at college, studying, working, and rarely available by telephone due to her full, exciting new life (does that sound bitter?). No, I cried because I found myself there.
It was my voice. My cultivated voice. The Bridgett of this blog. The Bridgett who is a little bit more me than I am on a regular day. The Bridgett whose quirks I can tweak for effect. The Bridgett whose mistakes I can magnify. The Bridgett who allows me to publicly figure out who I am and why I’m here and what I want to do with this one “wild and precious life.”
I have been missing her. So I’m giving her a little space here. Because writing is how I process the world. And that Bridgett is the voice that opens my heart just a little bit bigger.
I’ve been meditating with Sam Harris, (it’s an app called Waking up with Sam Harris) and one morning he said beginning is always available to us. Of course, I know this, have known this, have been a practitioner of beginning again for years now. But it bears repeating.
Beginning is available to all of us. Even when we haven’t written on our blogs for 7 months. Even when we miss our own voices so badly that we cry after reading something we wrote months ago.Even when we can’t tear our eyes away from the horror that is our federal government. Even when people we love disagree with us in so many ways and on so many different issues that we can’t begin to comprehend how we live in the same world let alone in the same small town in southeastern Illinois.
I told a friend of mine that I’m tired of being afraid. Afraid of climate change and guns and that we’re just too different. Afraid that I might say or do something that offends my neighbor or worries my friends. But being afraid is part of it. Always has been.
My friend is pretty smart. She didn’t go into all the reasons I shouldn’t be afraid, she just said, “But what’s good is that you aren’t waiting anymore until you aren’t afraid.”
She’s right, of course, because if I waited until I wasn’t afraid, I’d never say another word again. And poor blog Bridgett would be silenced forever.
So here I am, beginning again. Again.