I grabbed my copy of Natalie Goldberg’s latest book, The True Secret of Writing on my way to bed, knowing the words of this beloved writer would soothe me. Her words couldn’t solve what I was upset about, but her friendly tone and my years of reading her words would remind me that in the long run, everything would turn out fine.
Natalie’s words reminded me “Freedom is not a rejection, a getting away, but rather a resolution.”
I remembered I had the privilege of resolving my upset, by coming to terms with it and choosing what action or inaction to take.
I wrote this in my notebook as a question to try on, to repeat and to walk around the day living it, a la my friend Poet Rainer Rilke.
It was like snuggling on a comfy sofa with a longtime friend: a very wise, longtime friend. She told me next, “If you get past the cuteness and touch honest intimacy and true detail, there is nothing you can’t write about.”
My copy of this book is dog-eared, written in and has lots of post it notes throughout, which is why I was able to turn to so much wonder so quickly. I then turned to the back of the book and the chapters I had yet to read.
I quietly soaked up two short chapters.
I went to sleep feeling at peace.
This morning I woke up and went about my normal routine. I noticed people were much more cheerful this morning than usual.
A man asked me for money, to buy baby formula he said. I told him I didn’t have cash, and good luck… which is what I usually say, but this time I turned and said, “Hey, when I was having a rough time I went to Alliance Against Family Violence. They gave me formula. Reach out, someone will help youyou’re your little one.” He talked to me about several phone numbers he could call.
I told Samuel, my twelve year old son, “Sometimes I can’t help people with money or food, but I can tell them where to look for help.”
A woman I see who I have never spoken to said a shy, “hi…” to me. I responded with a smiley “Good morning!”
Maybe it wasn’t the other people who were cheerful, maybe it was I who was more cheerful.
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