Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Earl Grey Gets Me High and Other New Discoveries

After ten-odd years of drinking coffee every morning, nearly without fail, I got up today and thought: "I'd like some Earl Grey this morning, instead."

The change was inspired by two things, the first being that I discovered I had grown bored with life, which is unacceptable for a Creative like me. I had been thinking it was time to make some changes, try some new things, breathe life deeply again, and find the magic. The second, and probably foundational inspiration, is that I met a guy from Seattle who claims that tea is better. The mere suggestion that I may be missing out on the best was enough to unsettle my security about coffee. What if I was wrong?

This morning was cold, and clear, and deeply beautiful. In this city surrounded by mountains, all the leaves changing and dropping, the wind playful, the rain unpredictable, the sun and clouds fighting for rein over the sky, I can't help but fall in love with Autumn in it's height of glory. My heart responds without effort. It was just one of those mornings that called for a break from the usual, and so I decided to have a cup of tea.

I made it in my French press, because I don't yet own a strainer, and started work. It warmed my fingers, like the coffee, and tasted delicious. My morning felt complete. An hour and a half later, I felt the buzz.

As it turns out, the body processes caffeine differently in tea than it does in coffee. I did not know this. So, even after a decade of steady, daily caffeine, I overdosed on one large, strong cup of Earl Grey. I literally had to take a break from work until my head stopped spinning, and I quelled the urge to call random people and sing to them.

I am convinced, by now, that meeting new people and building relationship is one of the greatest joys we have on this earth. It is refreshing to see life from another perspective. I am curious now about Seattle, and all the sights and sounds of it. I am eager to try the fantastically wide variety of teas that I now notice on shelves I used to pass right by. I am learning about religions I had never thought to give a second thought to. I am discovering how to share all of the best and worst of myself with someone new. In the blink of an eye, from one simple introduction, I am changed, and growing into an even better me.

I am eager, now, for new experience, new friends, and new days. Taking a break from the ordinary, and opening up to beautiful new, might just be the best way to steer your life away from terrifying mediocrity. I invite you to try a new cup of tea, in a manner of speaking. You never know when it might be the best you've yet tasted.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Every Purpose Under Heaven

I watched a leaf fall today, the wind spinning and tossing it about before it finally reached ground, and skittered along the pavement to find a resting place beside my car. I suddenly felt solemn, as I often do in Autumn, viewing the blatant beauty of death, and weighing it against the promise of the life that is to come.

I have lived long enough, and seen enough seasons by now to know that Spring, and new life, always comes. It is no longer faith, but mere expectation. Growing older, you gain wisdom, you learn the way things are... but you have to be careful not to lose your sense of wonder in the process. I feel that mine is threatened at all times.

I like to read Ecclesiastes this time of year. It is a stunningly beautiful bit of literature. I am searching different translations to find the the one I love most. But I recommend sitting down and reading it, in it's entirety, while sitting outside letting the leaves let go of life around you.

I don't want to be one of those fragile old women who weeps at everything, but I will be brave enough to say that, on my break today, with the breeze, and the leaves, and the poetry of the Bible at my fingertips, I shed a few tears as I thought about it all... life, and death, and the changing seasons... toiling under the sun, and the vanity of it all. I desire so deeply to leave some fingerprints behind when I go. I fear that I may never learn how.

I often think of my grandmother these days. I suppose it only natural, this being the first full season without her. But I see her in everything. I remember her every time the sun clears the wall of trees outside my window, and for a few brief moments of the morning, reaches through to touch my face with warmth. Every now and again, for just a second, I will start to remind myself to call her, and then realize... and painful as it is, part of me dreads the day when I stop doing that, too.

To everything, there is a season...

What this season holds, or what it's purpose may be, I cannot fully guess. I know only that I am being shaped, that I am growing, that I can see myself a little more clearly these days. Once again, I open my heart to Autumn, I drink in all the sight and scent of it. I take a lesson from the leaves, and try to let go, and see where the wind will take me.

I must learn to let go... so that a few seasons away, I can see the new life growing freely. I think I have enough faith to trust that there really is a time for every purpose under heaven.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Blank Page

Well, here I am again, trying to write but not finding myself with the clarity, creativity, or perhaps the inspiration to. Sometimes I need to write, but the words won't come at all, and sometimes they spill over my fingers like too much water in a small glass. Most of the time I feel that I just can't get it all down quickly enough, before it disappears. I catch a glimpse of the creative, but then it vanishes before I can pin it down.

I have had a lot of people ask me, lately, what I am writing, and I try to dress up my answer and make it look pretty. I am tempted to say what they want to hear and not what's real. The truth of the matter is, that I used to see a blank page and I could fill it past the margins with potential. Now, when I see a blank page I see a reflection of the creative side of my mind, staring back at me.

Blank. Ready for action, but currently sporting only potential, and no words. Is it mere writer's block, a quarter-life crisis, a simple matter of being out of practice? I wish I knew. I wish, also, that I knew my way out.

I guess all writers have to pen a lot of nothing before they can reveal something of value. I have never really known if I have anything that is worth putting down into permanence. That is the beautiful and terrifying thing about writing... the potential for permanence.

Perhaps I am still searching for what needs to be said most. I need organization in my mind that I have never found. I tend to spill everything, and then edit to see if there is treasure buried under all that mess somewhere...

That seems like the theme of my life these days... trying to find the treasure among the mess. Here's to making messes, and hunting for buried treasure!