Research is part of the very messy journey that us writers call process.  In the rare times of writing well, we invite our readers into the complex journey of comprehension.  What a magical intersection.

Synesthesia.  Look it up like I had to after hearing it for the first time last week.  Let it make sense or let it confuse you.  If you care to ponder more, the following words are here for you…

My son is 7 1/2 amazing years old.  He doesn’t know how to ride a bike without training wheels yet and the other day he invited his dad and I to the playground to show us that he had finally learned to swing by himself.  We didn’t tell him how proud we were of him.  We joined in right alongside him with smiles that matched the delight of his grin.  He had all the joy he needed right inside his own heart.  We didn’t have to push him past his moment and into ours.  His childhood accomplishment belonged rightfully to him.

The compassionate heart and open mind that my son is building within himself is going to face far more challenges than the chain links of a swing.  Life will leave the skin of his hands tattered and exhaust his inertia in ways that I am unable to predict or prevent.  I don’t lay in bed at night worrying about whether he will to learn to ride a bike without training wheels.  It doesn’t concern me for the same reason I didn’t worry if he would learn to tie his shoes and won’t worry if he will get through algebra.  He will.

My deepest, fall-to-my-knees worry is the gift of intuition that I recognize in him and whether he, or the world around him, can appreciate it’s definition.

On more than handfuls of occasions, I have watched my son cover his ears and cry in the midst of loudness – situations that are too noisy or that include too many people.  If I level him at the surface, I have an explanation for this behavior.  He was born with a condition that is fully connected to the health of his hearing – it makes total sense.  But when I slam the dictionary shut and check another source, I discover the other story…

This little boy is in tune to the frequencies of life.  I observe it in him every day.  The world is loud with emotion through his eyes and he hears interactions with slow-mo vision.  It’s why he touches my hand when I am hiding my sadness and says things like don’t worry mom, the world is just a story that you get to dream in. you’ll be okay.  And on the funnier side of wisdom says things like, dad it’s okay that you don’t have it in you to be patient. you have lots of other really great things inside you. just keep looking.  It’s why he takes walks by himself and why he once asked me to take him to a cemetery (mom, it’s so neat to see how everyone & everything is connected).

His perceptual understanding of the world is real.  On most days that will serve him well. On other days he will have to figure it out, because the world is too beautiful and too unbearable when you see it in double.

There are not enough conversations I can have with him to help him make sense of his superpower and all the ways it will help him understand himself and the world.  To push him towards it or away from it does him no good.  It would cheat him from the depths of introspection that are waiting for him.  He simply needs a vision of what it looks like to embrace the journey.

That is something I can do for him…because I feel the world in color.

 

 

 

 

If you have never watched Schitt’s Creek, may I suggest that you open Netflix immediately and begin at season 1, episode 1.  Most won’t be wise enough to appreciate the humor, but those that stay will fall deeply in love.  I fell deeply in love and stole the title of this blog post directly from a character’s mouth.

My parent’s celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past July.  I had the opportunity to give a toast.  It went something like this…

This landmark celebration has been such a gift to myself and my two brothers.  It has gifted us the space to grow closer through memories & laughter. By looking at each moment more deeply, it has built a gratitude in all of us for just how grand the journey has been.  We have become more and more aware of a connectedness that has actually been there the whole time.

Piecing together the story of our parent’s commitment, we quickly began to realize that every moment is, in fact, a hint towards the next.  You see…

I now know why my oldest brother and his wife chose to sign their wedding license at their dining room table; growing up, my mom would decorate our dining room table to celebrate every holiday and birthday.  I ran home from school on those days, in full anticipation of how spectacular the set up would be.

And I now know why my other brother and his wife go to concerts for their date nights and make sure that their two kids have the ultimate taste in music.  Appreciation of music wasn’t a choice in our house; we were connected by our touches on the ivory keys of my grandmother’s piano.

And I now know why I recently traded in city life to live in a modest house on open land surrounded by trees; the huge oak tree in the front of my childhood home was where I discovered my heart and values.

From both of you, we learned that it is far more important to pay more attention to the clouds in the sky than to the time we set our alarm clock.

You reminded us that we need not count our failures, but rather feel every insight they have to offer.

You demanded we care more about the sensation of the ground under our feet than the number of miles we have walked.

You taught us that time doesn’t really exist; life is simply an exponential experience of moments.  

I never thought this toast to my parents would find a thread to a series produced by Not a Real Company Productions, but let’s embrace a character that chooses to wear a leather sweater in the dead of summer.  Most people would consider him crazy or careless.  I, on the contrary, think he has it all figured out.  I recognize my parent’s wisdom in him.

If you choose to take the plunge and take on the series, which I highly encourage you to do, you will note that it never seems to be fall or winter in Schitt’s Creek.  Perhaps that is because of filming efficiency or limitations to the setting.  Personally, I believe it is just another part of the show’s brilliance.

Regardless of the reason, the show has certainly let go of the restraints of time.  The writers don’t care if the weather elements make sense or not.  They want their characters and audience to develop within the ambiguous ebb & flow of life.  To do that, they have to resist the pressure of perfect timing.  I am so appreciative of their relentless resistance of time, because if David (played by Daniel Levy) was counting the seasons and waiting for the ideal weather to arrive, he would never have the chance to wear his rad get up.  And, I never would have gotten to jump into the depths of incredible laughter & joy that came from the brilliant take in the first minutes of that episode.

David holds moments in his hands. He can, because he already knows that his fashion is impeccable.

 

you always start with a look.  no words.  just a sizing up of loyalty.  the words come later.  always.

eyeing a trusting body up & down, you decide it’s worth the sacrifice.  you determine that an open heart can survive the firm press of your lips as you suck the life out of her.

you steal all her “firsts”, take her to get her first tattoo and ink all of your desperate desires onto her life.

tied to the beds of your grip, she builds a super power against your pressure.  turns her head and learns to appreciate the moments that pass as you finish your daily fit.

now she can see you coming from 100 miles away, dimming the lights to your preference.

she is obsidian, rooted at the base of her spine, and swallowing the shit of the world.

 

For years, I have facilitated writing experiences with teachers, many of which have been grounded in the teachings from Georgia Heard and her text, “Writing Toward Home”.   In one of her chapters, she suggests writing an apostrophe- the kind of apostrophe used in drama or poetry and from the Greek word meaning “to turn away”.  You are asked to choose someone, alive or gone, and speak/write directly to them.  It is an unfiltered type of writing that is rooted in honesty and healing and I have literally witnessed it changing people’s lives as they pour their hearts onto paper.  

Through all the times I have offered this experience to other writers, I have also attempted to write my own for 10+ years and never gotten “anywhere”.  EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I have chosen the same person and started the same way….”unimaginable, what you have done & how you have chosen to exist”.  If you were to look through my piles of writer’s notebooks, you would find that same line over and over again followed by a few weak and fearful lines.  Until last week…

I reread Heard’s chapter on the apostrophe and followed her subtle accommodation to this exercise.  If you can’t seem to write to a person, she suggests that you write to an inanimate object or emotion.  In all my years, I had never chosen that path.  Until now…

“You” in the piece of writing above is not a person.  “You” is a state of mind & being and I was finally able to address it head on.  This piece was never meant to be written to an individual.  It was meant to be written to both the dark and light sides of life.  It was meant to be written about the strength we can all find within ourselves as we journey the world each and every day. 

Today my writing broke the bounds of time & space and arrived at truth.  

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