April 6, 2012 (draft unfinished)
It’s spring — we know this because the calendar says so (and also because here in Michigan it was 87F the other day — WHAT). What the calendar doesn’t say is that winter is over. For me that’s always been something you feel; it comes at different times for different people. It depends on a lot. How’s your job? How’s your love life? Winter ends without a fight if your life is ready to let it go.
I changed the header to reflect this: where there used to be a picture of an ornament on my dad’s Christmas tree, there’s now a picture of new blossoms on a tree.
I never explained “A Sufficient Universe”, which started as a working title but which I think I might keep. It comes from an NPR story – that I unfortunately can’t find record of after hours of googling – about a woman who traveled a great deal and eventually found within herself “a sufficient universe”, which reminds me a bit of the Camus quote about finding within oneself “an invincible summer”. I like both of these quotes a lot. I like the idea (especially as I go deeper and deeper into a long-term relationship – verging on four years with one person is a lot of time) of becoming and maintaining an independent self, a self borne of a lot of reflection and changing rather than just the one you happen to be. I think of woodworking: getting one ideal image in your head and then constantly chipping away, getting ever closer to whatever it is you want to be. I also like the idea of constantly starting over, before you ever finish.
I’ve been talking a lot recently with a friend about seasons and how they affect mood (particularly mine). A lot of overcoming depression has been about finding that invincible summer: finding that happy person and committing to being that person, every day. I know for a lot of people it isn’t that simple – I almost typed easy there, but it isn’t easy, at least not for me – but it’s what worked for me.
January 27, 2013
It’s not spring, yet, as hard as I’ve wished this week.
I’m a really bad blogger, which means that this page will (now) contain both my new year’s resolutions for 2012 and 2013. Last year I placed my own emphasis onto the Desiderata and I called it a resolution: “As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly.” For me, it was a year of defining the phrase “without surrender”, and of learning to balance the concepts of quiet and clear.
In some ways, growing older for me has been a lot about growing quieter – about speaking less and about listening more; about slipping more and more firmly out of the spotlight and into the wings; about learning to be an instrument, and finding my place in a profession built around the stories of other people. In other ways, growing older has been about growing clearer – about sharpening, refining, re-evaluating myself. In this sense, I have finally grown merciless.
What I haven’t grown is visible. It is strange to report this, but I’m taking my last semester of classes right now, and in April I’ll be ready to start a year of practicum and internships: one year from when I wrote the first half of this post. One of my classes is Ethics – more completely, Ethical, Legal, & Professional Issues in Counseling. My first assignment is due Thursday and I’m dragging my feet on it: write a resume and a cover letter for an entry-level counseling position and submit it for review. It shouldn’t be so difficult. I feel like I already have 90% of the assignment languishing in bits and pieces on my hard drive. But that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s my entire life: writing things – almost-finishing things – saving them with obscure filenames into obscure folders and then never showing anyone. Is it that I don’t think I have a story to tell? Is it that I think people won’t listen? That it’s not important enough, that it’s not unique enough, that in any/all dimensions it isn’t whatever enough?
Whatever it is, I’ve had enough of it. I believe endlessly in the power of other people’s words and stories – why not my own? Blogging, in 2013 I will begin you anew.