Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November's Gifts

In November, at winter's gate, the stars are brittle. The sun is a sometimes friend. And the world has tucked her children in, with a kiss on their heads, till spring.

Funny, that I spent all of October blogging about Stillness, when in some ways November is the stillest month of all.

November is the month in which our world prepares itself for the coming winter.  Even in the warmer parts of the world, autumn is finally surrendering to the inevitable chill.  (You Southern Hempisphere folks? Well.  It is a stillness in readiness for explosion of Summer weather, right?? Different, but the cusp of transition still fills us with suspense, methinks.)

I sit here at my kitchen table and watch rain streaking down window panes, watch the last of the leaves swirl past, one last wild ride before ending their days in winter's compost heap.

Sopping, soaking rain is our gift this November day.  If the 'world is tucking her children in' in November, then the weather today is the children getting their last drink of water, staying for one last minute the turning out of lights.

Most of us here in the States aren't registering the world being tucked in for the winter - we are focused on cranberry sauce macerating, stuffing ingredients, and perhaps anticipating long drives ahead.

And yet these busy preoccupied times are the very best moments in which to take a moment of Still.  To register how quickly the world outside changes, how suspenseful the natural world is, ready to head into the next season.

This Thanksgiving holiday, please, take the time to be thankful for your family, for your warm house, for your Thanksgiving meal.  But here's a little challenge for you:  find also the time to stand quietly at a window, and be thankful for the leaves that swirl past.  Be thankful for the dying grass, for the soaking rains.

Take a moment to be thankful for the profound gift of Stillness in the natural world.  It has the potential to teach us everything.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Attempts to Thaw

Not many words.

Every day I look at this file on my computer, the file that's supposed to be turning into my novel, and I see not many words at all.

I look at this poor old blog, and see not many words at all. None, in fact, since the beginning of the month.

The only things I post on Twitter are my Instagram photos, and even my favorite geek hangout Facebook has been a quiet place for me recently - the Instagram photos get posted there too, and maybe a few comments on friends' posts that amuse me.

What happened to the optimism, the rush of energy to write more, to write longer, to CREATE?  What happened to that heart-gut certainty that a writing life will be the life that says to me daily, Here is where authentic is. Yes. Do this.  You're on the Right Path.

Maybe that deep gut certainty is still there.  But the life I'm living is somehow letting the other voices weigh in louder.  The inner critic (mine) is merciless, but also I hear the [imagined] Others that misunderstand, that deliberately misinterpret, that judge my humble words as not close to good enough.

Down at frozen pond

It's the freezing of a pond - at the outer edges the words freeze as I try to weave them into fictions of people leading hard, mysterious lives.  That ice hardens and spreads as I become exhausted even thinking about a blog post, and have 702 excuses reasons regarding other things that must be prioritized. As the freezing solidifies, it reaches the odd inner narrator of mine that turns my silly days into status updates or Tweets or captions of snapshots on my phone.  Before long, I stand marooned in the middle of the ice, unsure of how to get back to shore, unsure how to effect a thaw.

I am scared, actually, by how often that freeze happens.  It's just a long and cold winter in my creative life right now. I let those voices shout out loud over the still small voice of authenticity.  The warm voice gently murmuring create, Kirsten, create. 

Maybe today make it a quick status update.  Maybe tomorrow it can be another blog post. 

The only, the only way to the thaw is by breathing deep the warm air of creativity.   To Just Write.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Well crap on a cracker.

Here I went giving y'all a suspenseful buildup for The Big Reveal today, and pfffft.

Life went & happened instead.  You probably don't want to hear about the death rattle in my lungs from all the winter camping this past weekend [cue emergency call to new doctor o' mine].

Nor do you want to hear about the Careful and Quirky Contractor Man who needed to talk to me 46 times today about the stone pillars in front of my house which apparently have had no foundation for almost 100 years.  [Cue emergency call to insurance adjuster.] 

yep, those stone pillars you see in the back there
 Wanna hear about delivering a forgotten yoga mat to school, only to hear that my lil' yogi decided to skip it today and went home on the bus? [Cue mad calls for the 7 & unders to pile into van; get out at school; pile back into van in time to get Ms 9 off the bus.]

Blah blah blah.

We all got crazy busy lives, right?

I'll give you The Little Reveal, tonight, instead:  I've got a new project.  I am blindly feeling my way towards life as a writer, and unsure even about what that looks like.  But the darkest corners of my heart, and the lightest tippy toesiest part of my brain are in agreement:  I have to Just Write.

So I will.  In November I am doing NaNoWriMo, which for the uninitiated stands for National Novel Writing Month.  What?!? say you A novel?  Surely she's only built up to half a column's worth at best!  Well.  Then I'll spend 30 days writing half columns of purple prose if I have to.  But it's 50,000 words or bust. (If any of you out there are as crazy as me, be my writing buddy - my name is NilsenLife.)

I made the major commitment to a weekend away - by myself. Three days of writing with people I know hardly at all, but who've promised to make me write for 72 hours straight.  (Kinda. With a little hot-tubbing thrown in.)

And then, I will Just Write. 


I never fail to be inspired by Heather and her blog, and the people who connect through it.  She started Just Write, and she has encouraged me to go out there and do my writing thang more times than I can count.  I am so grateful.   Here we go peeps!

Related Posts with Thumbnails