MUSINGS OF A COUNTRY-OLIC
I've had a few thoughts on my mind lately...my usual sprinkling of questions to do with existence, relationship, and art. Spurred by the intelligent lyrics of Neko Case, Dostoevsky, and a young Plath, I've come to realize how my routine here includes less writing than I am used to. I suppose this could have a lot to do with settling in and all the creativity and soul required to listen to where the objects of your life want to be placed.
But it is also something that I suspected would happen out here...without people. I did roughly 60% of my letter writing in cafes and restaurants, whereas here...I have yet to find a place. I am sure this requires actually LOOKING for a place, but I am still in the needing towel-racks and "what the hell am i going to do with these window treatments" phase of life. This, up until now, has been a justification for me ignoring my own soul.
I think I realized that I pursue this writing life, this artistic soul-journey, only when I really have time. This does not an artist make (in my definition, which each must do for herself). Rather, an artist will be consumed by his work and allow life to be what falls to the wayside, not the expression and very necessity of her soul.
Consequently, I've felt a wee bit emotionally stunted... out of touch with myself...the good and the bad. I also stopped attending therapy for a some time, and I am gagging on the the words stuck in my throat - backing up the flow of ideas and fire of thought I usually possess.
Add guilt. In order to make this time worth it, I feel as though I must find a use, a purpose, and true meaning. Without this directed (read 8am to 5pm) purpose, I feel bathed in guilt. There is some sort of firebrand scathing my ass to be thankful for all I have right now. So many people are looking at my life with puppy-dog eyes...as they should! I mean, it's really amazing right now. I must admit the temptation to downplay it or justify it somehow...as if me struggling with it would make it easier for them to swallow or wanting to sometimes scream that I've had enough pain to last a lifetime so I somehow deserve it. Both of these excuses would be a gross oversimplification of all the nuances and adjustments happening right now. My husband is working his ass off to provide this life for me, and I do not take this for granted. But I also somehow feel the need to explain to people that I am also working my ass off. Like Plath, I am "forging a soul amidst great birth pangs" and how this takes a non-American, non-commercial, non-paying kind of work. So I guess there is something inside me that thinks if I just feel guilty or downplay how wonderful my surroundings are or how well I take care of myself that will make it easier for other people to swallow. I believe I can handle both the good feelings and the bad feelings of those I love, but I also know that god gives, god takes away. What makes my life rich is comprised of my internal work, not my external circumstances. How privileged I am to have the pleasure of that thought, a bliss reserved for a person whose basic needs are met. This is an admonition to myself as well as to those of you finding envy and pity riding on your backs.
And oh, my surroundings! Yesterday, while driving into town to do a Costco/Trader Joe's run, I spied a momma cow and a baby cow (going to google to look up the appropriate word) ahem CALF. The calf was feeding and tucked just so into the mother's underbelly. I almost died from the distraction (these country roads are curvy and unpredictable, like the best kind of woman), and I almost cried from sentiment and beauty. I find myself gradually getting living in the city out of my system, finding new routines and activities that replace and heal the severing. For instance, I've been a cooking machine! In the city, it's far cheaper and easier to eat take-out 2 or 3 times/week. Here, there is absolutely nothing convenient about it.
But what is convenient it a life of quiet study, endless reflection, a new-found enjoyment of social activities, the building of fires, the company of my saint, the planning and execution of meals, and the saunters through the wet forest floor. I knew these things were far more necessary than take-out.
As well as my online community, I've been the happy recipient of your happy thoughts towards me and this new life. This amazes me. I dream of a time where you are around my hearth, sharing my tea, and knitting (because you all knit in my mind, of course).