our most honest work yet

Photo: My new blue journal, with the first poem inside on the first morning of the year.

The good news in my Portfolio Project game these last few days has been the opportunity to read some of my new work--in person--to some dear friends.  The bad news came this morning, when a little one beat me awake and unrolled my latest roll of film all over the floor.  Mourning all those shots I'll never get again.

Literary merit completely aside, I know I'm doing my soul work over here, and the writing I've done ever since I wrote all the way to the fence has been deeply satisfying.  I'm traveling around with the little journal I started on New Year's Day at Jen's house, and completed just last week.  I was laughing with friends yesterday about the truly deep things that will be found someday in its pages like, "I'm ready for some toast now, or maybe an omelette." (More on my journal-writing philosophy here.)  But it also feels sacred to me, and when I read to my dear ones it becomes my prayer book, and we stand witness together as the mysteries of human wounds and human healing break through the plain-jane words and touch us with unknowable fingers. 

This is my most honest work yet.

Maybe this is the next round of the Portfolio Project game--to relinquish concern and consideration for the perceived quality of our work and to dig deep until we excavate a truer version of ourselves than we've known until now.  To abandon ourselves to our most honest work yet, and to let our dear ones bear witness to our path. (Keep sending me your gems for the Midpoint Gallery Show--jen at jenlee dot net.)

Self-Care and Soul Work

Photo: The new sweater I knit for myself (design by moi). this
  • Knitting things just for myself.  When I put on a hand-knit garment, I swear I can feel all the love that was woven into each stitch.  It feels generous and luxurious and somehow affirms my value to myself--that I could be worthy of such labor.  I let this truth sink in to me with the warmth the wool holds near.
  • Listening to a mix CD from my sister on repeat, especially this song--which I admit I'm late to, but this chorus is my anthem for the week:
Don't worry you will find the answer if you let it go Give yourself some time to falter But don't forgo knowing that you're loved no matter what And everything will come around in time --Sarah McLachlan, Perfect Girl
  • Eating my magic chocolate chip cookies. This is the closest thing to a magic potion in my possession.  The dark chocolate chips are the most important ingredient--dark chocolate is a powerful thing.
  • Steeping myself in love.  Writing my dear ones or calling them or reading the notes they've sent to me.  Remembering I'm not on this journey alone.  Like a hot bath that warms you to the core if you stay in it long enough, I try to let their love soak in all the way.  Nothing to think about here, just the warmth to bathe in.