Saturday, July 30, 2016

Chapter One


One page. That is all I need to do and all I promised myself. I am reading, no, slurping up Glennon Doyle Melton’s first book, “Love Warrior”, and while her message is profound, mesmerizing and pay-attention worthy, all I can think is, I can do this too. But I am not doing this. So why am I not? I am not because in the precise moment I read this breath-taking sentence by her “My inhale is reading, my exhale is writing.”, I was lying on a chaise lounge in blistering heat, soggy and a little cooler post swim at my local hippy-dippy public pool where this is an actual Krishna and incense to pray to when you reach the deep end. I love it. My JCrew red one piece and lobster print beach bag are an odd fit but we belong to each other. (Jackson Wellsprings AND the swimsuit.)

Now Glennon. Or the story of What Glennon Made Me Realize Today. There is so much power in action. You can read her book to absorb her story. It’s worth it. Even if it isn’t your story, you will relate. There are gold nuggets everywhere. But my story is the story of why that one sentence, that chance meeting, that painting in the museum, stops you dead in your tracks and pushes you onto a new rail. My new rail is one page, one word at a time. One blog post, one painting, one order, one run in the woods. All of the onesies added together equal an entire wardrobe. High five to self.

None of this realization is entirely new. What makes it a little more electric today is this new font I’m writing in. Remember, I was just in the pool. There is also a shallow end. New font, ok, larger font, allows me to see what I am writing! This is no small thing. I am reading the words clearly, no longer hunching over in a miserly just-finish-it-state of most essays I wrote to finish my English degree. This feels fun! Fun enough to use an exclamation point!

The other thing that has jarred me awake is doing something different. It’s hot here today. Like uncomfortable hot did I really complain about the cold only a few months ago kind of hot. There’s AC in the house but it’s old and cranky and never seems to be that cool. I longed for a boat or a lake or lake house with a boat docked in front and because I have none of those things, I decided to go swimming at my local pool. I don’t do this very often. So many layers. A towel. A swimsuit. Snacks? No snacks. Water. Book. Back up book because what I’m reading might not fit my pool mood when I get there. Phone. Case to put phone in because it might get wet. Magazine. Stop. Enough distractions. Don’t call anyone, you don’t need to go with a friend, just go now, get in your car and jump in that
crazy sulphur wellspring swimming pool. And that’s what I did and that one little action of doing something different today made me think about things differently. And that is more than enough. That is Chapter One material right there.

Back to this writer and her sentence. “Reading is my inhale. Writing is my exhale.”

I can seriously read that line over and over and think that’s it, nothing more needs to be said. But I can also read that sentence and think, I want to write sentences like that. My story, your story, our good sentences all need to be told.

I am home now from my daytrip. I am regenerated. I swam, I lay out on my favorite white and navy striped beach towel, I wore a big straw hat, I read a book. This is all it took. I changed my radio dial for three hours. There is no doubt that the dial will find it’s way back to something crackly and indiscernible and I’ll have to press search on the radio to bring in a clear station, but today its coming in good.

The other thing, today is full of other things, is the acceptance of not doing just being. I live in Mecca for all things transcendental and meditative, healing crystal rocks and ascended masters. But for real.  Walking out the door with no plan other than to lie on a chaise for a few hours when I have a lot of work pending is reckless? Stupid? Irresponsible? Nope. I’m hanging a show on Monday morning at 9am and need 20 pieces finished, not telling where I’m at this moment, but you can assume I’m not sitting on the couch admiring my work. Leaving today felt important and right. I feel more energized to paint, to write, to cook a healthy dinner and know that my brain melt this afternoon was the recharge work and over-work does not provide. Busy-ness is a total scam.

Today I honor unexpected muses. A new writer (to me). A great sentence. An afternoon by the pool. A hot summer day spent doing a hot summery day activity. A big hat that made me happy and feel vaguely European.

Now I’ll start my painting day. Chapter One can start any season, any age, any afternoon. xo

"Chapter One" 24x24"
Available at Weisinger Family Winery, Ashland OR August 1-31st, 2016

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