The posts titled “Conversations On…” come from emails between a dear friend and I. With her permission, I am publishing excerpts from them because I feel they pertain this blog. Kate has been in the process of trying to figure out how to be a writer and still maintain her teaching job. She has very recently decided she must leave her job and fully embrace a “writing life.” At her request I’ve changed her name and am using initials for people she mentions. Join our conversation…
As I am writing, the bus is passing by the old neighborhood in New York that MF and I lived in just before we moved to Massachusetts in 2006. I think about how much has changed in the past five years, how we have shed elements of our old selves and established new ones, grown stronger, and are still working hard at learning who we are. I am looking out over a dirty cityscape and see a wooded hill that represents the small oasis of Inwood Hill Park, where I actually saw two bald eagles, an adult and an adolescent, one day when I was walking our dogs there. It’s the only real woodland left on the island of Manhattan and it runs right into the confluence of the Hudson and Harlem rivers under the Henry Hudson Bridge, which is why that area was selected for hatching and releasing bald eagles. I walked directly under the branch they were perched on, and for some wild reason they didn’t fly away, even though bald eagles are extremely sensitive to movement, visually. I just stood there in awe, with the two large dogs who, true to their dog nature, driven by their fascination with what is in front of them on the ground—fortunately—never noticed what was up in the trees above us. This sequence of memories and thoughts and timing also brings to mind the idea that ML suggested to me recently, that I should just “marvel at” (those were his words) how I act and react, continuing to allow old patterns to dominate and define how I see myself, even when the definition doesn’t fit the external reality or the context of the moment calls for a completely different way of seeing, feeling, and knowing. I see you marveling at how you reconfigure yourself at times so as to conceal or mask that part of you that is less confident, more vulnerable. Sometimes we need so badly to let our strength define us that we forget there is more of us to be reckoned with.
I am going to be on this bus for a long time and I am on strict orders for complete silence (voice rest) until tomorrow. I want to tell you that the acupuncturist did an even more aggressive treatment than he did last week and he is ecstatic about the results just from what he’s done for me so far. The change is almost unbelievable. This may have quite a lot to do with what has happened in the past week with my resignation and all, as well as the acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Just this morning, before I went for the session, I had to send out two email announcements, one to the HR person who has to handle the bureaucratic aspects of my departure, and one to my department members, which I knew would be hard, but not as hard as the conversation with my boss was. Now I must to deal with all the individual responses to my announcement. The worst is over.
I am THRILLED with your report about your visit to the acupuncturist! That is SUCH terrific news! I know that your treatments with him and your decision to leave the work that was taking your voice will be your healing.
I just watched the movie Freedom Writers for the second time. Have you seen it? I am so inspired by it. It’s based on a true story and it’s about belief, even when it gets hard, and the healing powers of telling our stories.
I can’t help but feel that you and I are embarking on a healing journey together. I love what ML said about marveling at this dance we each continue to do. Perhaps this crossing of our paths is meant to be a gift that will set us both free to be true to who we genuinely are. Wouldn’t that be a lovely miracle?
Congratulations on sending out the two email announcements. We are on the threshold of something remarkable that the universe has seemingly been lining up for a lifetime.
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Love to you all,