The furniture is in place, the cooking pots are in their drawers, books are on the shelves, half the artwork has been hung, and clothes are put away. I could be called “settled.”
But I am not. Physically, yes; mentally, there is more to do. Despite all the excitement of a new stove, seeing more stars in the night sky, and resuscitating a sixteen-year-old clothes washer, I have revisited the outskirts of those emotionally, soul-sucking years of being forever busy with tasks that some people call productive adulthood.
There was much I learned and enjoyed in the crazy, busy years of owning a graphic arts company with my husband. The profit of those years is making these years possible, but I had little insight and less time to develop a truer me. I say “truer” because even human-made plastic wrap is “true” to its existence of being plastic wrap, but I’ll make myself superior to plastic wrap here and say it is not of the earth, sky, and connection to life.
About fifteen years ago I became more painfully aware of missing a deeper connection with something that might be worthwhile in myself. Purposely I began to change myself. One of the ways I did that was to write.
You’ve heard of two steps forward and one step back? I think that’s where I am. Over the fifteen years I took two steps forward and mentally, until I can regain my equilibrium and quiet, I have taken one step back. It’s a recoverable step that reminds me of a poem I enjoy for its simple clearness that was written in 1980 by Portia Nelson.
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
1. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost … I am hopeless. It takes forever to find a way out.
2. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
3. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in … it’s a habit. My eyes are open I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
4. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
5. I walk down another street.
I could be writing Chapter 2, but with a little revising I hope to find myself in Chapter 3.