Thank you so much for the birthday wishes over the past couple of days; they truly warmed my heart. I am really grateful for your kindness and community.
This post today isn't easy to write. Probably because I'm writing it for me, rather than for pleasing an audience. The internet is good at audience pleasing, don't you agree? It offers things that are full of meaning but easy to read. It makes quotes rather than confused explorations. And to be honest, so much of it glosses right over me, like a passing wash of summer light. Oh, I feel inspired. But I don't often feel accompanied, if you know what I mean.
For when I turn off my computer, step outside, I find the world to be more beautifully bewildering than any single word. And I find that true and poignant phrases don't help, not even in the smallest bit, when my heart must struggle with a tangled issue.
I love best the humble scratched words, the hearts shared, because then I know other women are with me - I feel your hand in mine and your understanding smile, across the miles, and it is truly good community.
I actually wrote another post today, and published it. I wrote about the complexities of feminism, in response to Emma Watson's UN speech - a speech which I found very articulate, beautiful, glossy, but ultimately deaf to the concerns of many people. My response took me hours, and much cluttering of thought, and only at mid-afternoon did I realise it could be reduced to one sentence. Care about everyone. Or, to say a little more : care about women, and men, and transgender people, and children, and animals. Let's take responsibility for ourselves, and have respect for others. That's all.
The reason I mention this now-unpublished post is because I spent hours typing away furiously at an essay, trying to make it as shiny as possible, without stopping to consider the simple heart of what I was feeling. Which is ironic considering that this current post is the one I drafted first, and after writing it, I turned straight around and did myself exactly the thing I had just argued against.
And so now I must read again more closely what I wrote this morning ...
I have promised myself lately (not a resolution, more a realisation) that I will not seek the shine, the cleverness, the loveliness. I will not make my days bloggable, or my words quotable. I will try instead to gently hold the heart of each moment, be it sweet or like spikes in my skin ... to gather the days as if they are children who need magic and comfort, warmth and wide possibilities ... to trust that the growth of wisdom is more valuable than knowledge ... and to smile upon myself with kindness.
It's going to be hard work.