At The Same Time
I ugly cried in the shower the other day. I was washing my hair and listening to a story on MPR about an elderly couple who, after a long and happy life together, died within a couple of days of each other, and with shampoo-laden water streaming down my face, I started to bawl.
I'm not entirely sure what brought on the tears. I wasn't sad or unhappy - more sleepy than anything, really. It was more of a happy-ugly cry, for the beauty of relationships, and love stories that last. It was cathartic. If you've never cried in the shower, I highly recommend it.
Contradictions have been on my mind a lot lately, and of course that means I see them everywhere. "I contain multitudes", Whitman said - a universally beloved line of poetry, and yet so many of us still struggle to see past the black and white. As if we can define ourselves or others by one characteristic, or act, or feeling. My daily inner battle is allowing two or more opposing truths to exist in the same space, at the same time. I am both fulfilled and anxious. I love being on my own, and yet sometimes I crave even the most mediocre companionship. The world is a beautiful place, but motherfucking Donald Trump is allowed to be president. Mari Andrew gets it:
One of my favorite artists, Austin Kleon, has recently started daily blogging again, and it has made me wonder if I could possibly do the same. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I had a good discussion with someone the other day about the amount of content on the internet, and how everyone is the star of their own show. I don't want to add to the noise. It's a lot safer to stay tucked away, to avoid the critics and those who would be happy to see me fail. To let the fear rule. And hoo baby, have I been letting the fear rule, even as my life has been expanding in ways I never thought possible.
Here is what I know: I like to write. I like the clickety clack of the keyboard, and watching a blank space fill with words. I like crafting a paragraph and then deleting it and replacing it with something better. I like starting out messy and smoothing out the edges, even if it takes several days. And I like connecting with people. I think it's time to let a little more of the mess be shown. Unless I don't blog again for another five months. Because it's entirely possible to want to do something very badly and yet also want to avoid it forever, at the same time.