...if we are stronger healers than they are warriors...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jeanette Winterson and soothing the freak-out

So. The tomatoes in the backyard are beginning to ripen and I'm going back to school in two days, for the first time in 14 years. And i'm freaking out about it - what am i thinking? Why the hell would i do such a thing? When there is so much garden to grow, so much art to make, so much ELSE to do?

"Stronger healers than warriors". I chant this to myself when i start to panic. And then i go make some compost, or read some of the smart smart smart heart-deep words of Jeanette Winterson.

JW is amazing - a crusader for art and earth and humanness. Bolstered by her words, books and journalism for years, i turned to her again this morning, worrying about whether i am making a terrible, gut-slicing mistake by changing my ways, going thousands of dollars into debt for something i'm not sure of. A voice inside me is telling me to do this thing. The voice, which is more of an insistent feeling, feels like "why are you fighting this?" and "go this way". I have decided to trust that voice, that push. Regardless of the boxes i will be required to put myself into, and i have resisted boxes for a long time - instead going for the rambling style of plants in fields or tangled woods - i am going to listen to this voice, which is also a current and see where it take me. Trust is so hard, feels so blind, but is so necessary for me to learn.

JW talks of this a lot - work hard to make the world saner and deeper in beauty and humanity, and enjoy the world for all that it offers up. We visited our friends Jan and Jim up on the Bruce Peninsula a week ago, and Jan had wise words (always) to offer along the same lines. Their son Galen was killed in a bike accident three years ago, and she said that since then she has really felt the fleetingness of life. The way ANYTHING can happen, good or bad, in the blink of an eye. Life is so short, she said, that we should enjoy it.

So. That's the plan. I'll work hard to grow the world in saner, more sustainable directions - teaching little kids how important earth and thoughtfulness and beauty, as well as reading and arithmetic are, might turn out to be a major way that i do that. Learn how to ease myself into boxes - for short amounts of time - will help me stay flexible, and relish the open spaces more. And I'll do my best to enjoy what comes.

I'll do breathing exercises to calm my freak-out, and read good honest words that'll work like compost on my heart.