Soggy, inverted, and upended
but definitely not broken.
We are not broken bent or spindled. You cannot return us. We are not disposable. We are old women. Soft-shelled warriors. Living libraries. —Tracie Nichols
You know how it feels when a wave has knocked you off your feet and suddenly, you’re doing your best imitation of that shirt that always turns inside out in the washing machine only it’s all saltwater and seaweed and sand?
That’s how I’ve felt for months. Maybe longer.
So, I haven’t written to you as often as I planned. Hell, settling to writing anything structured has been, well, (insert frustrated gesturing + inarticulate mouth sounds here).
My thou ghts are sog gy circular and fran tic.
So, when that wave finally spits me on the shore, there’s a whole lot of coughing and gulping, staggering and falling before I can find a nice rock.
Where I can pause and follow my quieting breath.
Where I can feel the weight of my legs pressed into the storm-polished dips and rises of the boulder and remember that tossed and swished and inverted or not, I am, still.
Bruised. Tossed. Watery. Inverted. I am. Still.
In a recent conversation for a friend’s podcast,
(I hope you check it out, I’ve included the link below.) we talked about how we (humans) are born tuned to our ecosystem. We’re wired into nature because we are nature.
Well, loves, the ecosystem’s rhythms are disturbed, and so are mine. I’m going to be bold and say that applies to most people. You’ve heard me say this before—we are of this Earth. We are innate, intrinsic parts of our local ecosystems. Of course we feel, in our bodies, the systemic disruptions this planet is experiencing.
This is just a personal observation. There are no studies I can cite. But I know at least some of my current restlessness, sleeplessness, and inability to settle into patterns isn’t menopause or ADHD because they’re old friends. We know how we move together.
This is my nervous system, my bones, responding to this land. We’re both unsettled.
Coughing. Gulping. Stag g er ing. Fall— ing. Pause. Still. Me.
Being inverted, upended, and unsettled certainly offers a different perspective.
It asks me to respond, to be, differently. So, I’ve dusted off old practices and rituals and created new ones, welcoming a more fluid, intuitive, sensory state of mind and being.
With the wave—moving with the wave.
I’ve stopped trying to write in known structures. Well, I’m trying to stop trying to write in known structures. Some patterns run very deep.
I cough out a bit of saltwater and remind myself it’s all a practice.
Unsettled. Inverted. Stillness. Words. Stillness. Words.
Loves, I see these letters as strands in a web connecting us,
like the hyphae of mycelium, so we can communicate, be nourished, and thrive as a community. Because the rhythm of me is changing, these letters will not travel in a straight line. In them, I will relate seemingly unrelated, far-flung ideas to each other. I will agonize and celebrate aloud. I will send them when my heart has something to offer yours—the schedule, the topics, all rising from the fluid, intuitive way I’m navigating my days.
It may seem chaotic and unpredictable until you remember that tossed and swished and inverted or not, I am, you are, we are, still.
We are, still. Together.
Which has me thinking about you.
About how you’re navigating the unsettled-ness. I hope you’re finding practices and ways of being that are sustaining. (Stillness and writing are helping me remember the Self at the center of myself.)
On June 11 Angel Sullivan (she of the glorious Rooted Mystic podcast) and I are calling a virtual fire circle inviting in 8 – 10 people who could use some kindness, maybe some help remembering the Self at the center of themselves.
It will be a gentle 90 minutes leaving you with a practice/ritual that will help you navigate the unsettled-ness. Bring your love of the Earth, your curiosity, your kindness, your weariness and uneasiness, you’ll find you’re in good company.
We recorded this so you’d know if the fire circle is a good fit for you.
Details and registration are here: Virtual Meditation and Writing Fire Circle
And here’s Angel’s Rooted Mystic podcast. I love what she’s doing in the world!
With love and appreciation,
P.S. for those folks who remember when I used to publish conversations I had with the Earth and the more-than-human-world I’ve started that again. It’s part of the stillness + unstructured words practice. You can find them at The EcoAudient Crone.