When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.
I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own.
So settle in, and I’ll get you a cuppa something refreshing, and let’s have a conversation…
Have you ever done something out of the ordinary, and then, once things settled down again, felt a huge surge of creativity and possibility? Have you ever wondered why?
We can get stagnant, when we keep doing the same things in the same way, going through the routines and motions of our everyday. I think we sometimes need to shake life up, in order to move forward – and, once we do, and life settles again, there’s room for the fresh air of inspiration.
At the end of July, my children and I made our annual pilgrimage to Plymouth, MA (pun absolutely intended!). We spent four days at the Pinewood Lodge Campground, at Unschoolers Rock the Campground. It was our time to connect, commune, and camp with old friends, and to meet new ones. We spend a lot of time at the lake, at various campfires, laughing and loving and living away from the Internet and the comforts of home.
It’s an annual shakeup, where we set aside our typical pursuits and rhythms, and give ourselves to what these four days offer… Even after several years, I’m still surprised at how the aftereffects ripple outward, like someone tossing a stone into the lake…
When we got home, I was exhausted – not much sleep, lots of physical activity and input, bracketed by two 230 mile drives, setting up and breaking camp, loading and unloading, packing and unpacking…for two days or so, my mind and body just craved rest.
Next came the scattered days, where I puttered with this and that, never focusing very long on any one thing as I settled back in, gradually returning to a more typical flow.
Toward the beginning of last week, epiphanies began to rise up within me, then to break my surfaces like someone coming up after a dive off the floating dock.
Those epiphanies are beginning to form a network– nothing as concrete as a plan. It’s the nascent beginnings, that, with nurturing, will gestate into something more focused and goal oriented.
So, what are these beginnings?
I’m thinking about writing, and income, and that I would like to have an income from writing – and not just an income, but one that will provide a cushion for our lives, and a means to help others, as well.
About submission – I haven’t done nearly as much as I’d like to; honestly, it’s my personal High Dive Board. I’ve dipped my toes in, and made a bit of money here and there, but I’ve never immersed myself in the process…I’m getting ready to take a leap of faith…and then do it again and again…
I’m not especially motivated by money – we live modestly, and, most of the time, our means are sufficient. They don’t afford a lot of luxury, though, and when things crop up, circumstances can get a bit dicey. A little more savings would us through those times.
I am motivated by the desire to connect and communicate with others, to share some of the things I’ve learned, experienced, or have been pondering, and to learn about others’ lives, in the hopes of understanding them, and maybe offering something that moves them. This matters more to me than money.
The shape of an emerging plan? View from aboard the Mayflower II, July 2010. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.
No, it’s not a plan – not yet. When I rush to make things concrete, whether in writing or elsewhere, I lose intuitive magic that can only grow beyond the abstract in its own time, and in its own way…
For now, I’m letting these thoughts and impressions be, and attending to them without trying to make them anything other than what they’re growing into. They’re starting to coalesce into the suggestion of a shape, but it’s like an optical illusion. If I try to focus on it too soon, it’ll shift into something else, and this emerging shape will vanish.
I may have more to say about this, in the not-so-distant future, as the shape gains cohesion and definition.
Have you shaken anything up in your life lately? If you have, have any epiphanies emerged from the afterglow? Are there nebulous ideas in your mind, waiting to take shape and shift the flow of your life?
I’ve got a fresh pot of coffee on, a happily whistling teakettle, and a selection of yummy teas and treats. We just had some much-needed rain, and the weather’s cooler, today – won’t you settle in for a bit, and share your story?
Inspiration – and writing – can happen anywhere! On the deck at the lodge, overlooking the lake, July 2014. Photo by Shan Jeniah Burton.