I am doing battle with words and today I am the unarmed opponent.
It is a slow time of year for my massage practice, and I am finding myself with long stretches of unstructured time. The perfect situation to get a little ahead on the blog posts, maybe re-write my website, dig deep into my long-term writing projects.
And yet today I faced down my morning pages and all that came out was blather. Isn’t this the point of morning pages, though? That is what I told myself, and so I closed the journal and came to the computer hoping all the detritus was out and the good stuff was rising to the surface.
I’m looking in the water and it’s still murky.
A few days ago I saw a movie with my partner — Ralph Breaks the Internet. It was silly and goofy and had some really sophisticated moments, like this scene where one of the main characters finds herself in a room full of Disney Princesses. The Princesses tell her that she needs to look into water and eventually she will spontaneously start singing about her deepest and most desired dream. It’s a funny moment that pokes fun at the structure of Disney movies. Last night, I was talking with my partner, and he joked about holding a cup of tea in front of me so I could sing about my deepest and most desired dream.
This morning I am here with a cup of tea, doing unarmed battle with words, about to dive into a project that is actually my dream, I think. And yet no song is forthcoming. I look deep into the tea cup, and all that comes to me is: “location-independent lifestyle.”
Dreams are terrifying.
I have built, am building, this massage practice, deeply rooted in the community where I live. I chose this community after a couple of decades in Chicago, because I thought I could build a long-term life here. I love my work. I love my clients. I even love the alien-looking terrariums my office mate has put all around our space. But more and more, I am feeling the need to get back on my trampoline.
For a little while, I had a trampoline life. I would travel, gather experiences, challenge my comfort zone, then come back home long enough to regroup (do laundry) and then go out into the world again. It wasn’t always a trip to an exciting international destination, but still, it was getting away to a place where all of my stuff fit into a small bag. I got so good at packing light and gathering all of what kept me alive.
I am doing unarmed battle with words because, among other things, I have not ventured out. I am aware, also, that venturing out is more than physical removal from my home city. It is taking a chance with my mind as well. What kinds of new words can I generate if they don’t have the new thoughts to back them up?
My practice is quiet these weeks, the days can be as slow as I want them to be. I am seeking out mental and physical challenges to re-arm myself with experiences that I can then turn into words. Eventually, I see this growing and changing into a location-independent lifestyle, happily back on the trampoline. For now, I am taking these weeks to sharpen up and prepare.
I am going to make myself another cup of tea and sing about it.