A great and gentle kindness
How I'm navigating change on two fronts.
September 9, 2022—full moon in Aquarius
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
I’ll begin with thanks to the brilliant Michelle GD for sharing the above O’Donohue quote last week.
It’s been a north star.
Without it I’d probably be a jagged pile of self-recriminating Tracie bits for not having the headspace to write (or do much else) for two months.
With it I’m a thin-edged woman taking a breath and being excessively gentle with herself.
Before we go on, why not take a beat and…
Change from two directions
Simultaneous life changes have been milling me thin this summer—grinding me to the finest of fine dust. So fine that even writing isn’t the salvation it usually is. And that’s unsettling.
ground fine. ground so fine I am translucent-edged— then dust— then—
First—my parents are in distress and I cannot stop, divert, or even slow the train speeding toward them. The situation is complex and exhausting for everyone, made especially hard because I live 3000 miles distant.
I feel helpless as I watch my creative, intelligent, mother’s cognitive well-being slipping away. Equally hard is witnessing my strong, smart, father grapple with not just his love’s struggles, but also with his own eroding physical capacities.
(And then there’s the part of me who is terrified she’s staring at her own not-so-distant future. That’s a story I don’t have the headspace to unpack, yet. Soon, though. Soon.)
Second—my own physical well-being has struck a prickly, uneven patch. While mostly annoying, this carries some worry (see the above mentioned fear) and a bucketful of fatigue.
Add late summer heat and humidity and feeling like a limp puddle of brain-fog to the mix (respect to everyone who adores summer, but August heat and humidity wallop me every year) and I’m tired, worried, and, well...
....heavy, ripe, still…
of languid fingers
palms trailed by
Yeah, it’s a lot.
Anyone else feeling this? I keep having to remind myself that it’s a lot, and, it’s a lot that isn’t going away soon. These are the winds carving the shape of my life, now. And let’s not forget the already raging (gestures at the world in general.)
Life is serving up a lot for so many of us lately.
It’s just a lot.
Let me hand you
a cup of worry
a splash of cream.
Pass you a plate
I don't know how
else to tell you
I love you.
I don’t have any answers. Gah! I wish I did. I just understand that kindness, gentleness, and patience need to be the ground on which I stand as these winds of change blow. And I need to extend those three things to as many people as I can.
Seriously, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need to be held with a great and gentle kindness these days.
So, here’s this letter full of kindness and gentleness. Perhaps even some peace?
peace today lives in the soft silences between laughter and handclasps
May it bring a bit of ease to your day. And, if it does, maybe you’d like to
(Please and thank you.)
With excessive gentleness,
P.S. The deep respite and joy of the writing circles has expanded from 1st and 3rd Saturdays to include 2nd and 4th Wednesdays! Come write with us. We’re a small, supportive circle of women who write and share and laugh and cry and generally find relief and belonging. All the details are at: https://tracienichols.com/writing-circles/
P.P.S.You can find Michelle GD, bringer of the great O’Donohue quote at: https://michellegd.com/about-4/