Friday, May 27, 2011

Breaking Through Old Ground

I have this silly notion that once I have an insight, I should be done with it. That reviewing the same old themes (for years!) on walks with Neeny is a reflection of fault lines in my character. That somehow, I alone, suffer from a deep weakness of not getting it while everyone else is drifting merrily down the stream. 

Call the head examiner, please.

How many times must I go over this, Neeny?

Neeny has known and loved me for decades. Nothing I talk about is off limits. She's always willing to listen. 

Actually, she loves to listen. 

But yesterday was her birthday and there I was, offering up a dose of tightness and tears about my worth in the world and what's the point, neck and shoulders gripped in pain. My timing sucked. 

Get over yourself.

But every time I had that thought, the vise grip tightened on my shoulders, my chest hurt, and my eyes welled up. 

Here's the thing, Neeny said, nodding her head.

Thanks for noticing how you're feeling! Let's notice and celebrate that, for the moment, your neck and shoulders are really tight and well, you feel low, or part of you feels low, what? And yes, we do need to keep talking about the same old things because what else are we going to talk about?

This is not a problem, she assured me.


By the end of our walk, sweaty and red-faced, my whole body felt softer and more spacious. The birthday celebration shifted into a "girl's night out" at the Sycamore Grill (with Claire as our partner in crime.)

[The cast of characters who passed by our table had me scribbling down the beginnings of a ten-minute play. Stayed tuned.]

For today, I am celebrating my not done-ness, and yours too, and all the people in my life who love me no matter how tangled up I feel. 

Until my ashes are flung into the ocean by the red, clay cliffs of Gayhead in Martha's Vineyard, I'm going to keep walking, 

noticing and celebrating

the same old things, 

breaking through old ground, 

over and over and over.

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