The next number of posts, all titled Conversations on… come from email communications between a dear friend and me. With her permission, I am publishing excerpts from them because I feel they pertain to everything we’ve been discussing on the 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 brings up. Those of you who have not read any of the earlier Conversation pieces, may want to go back to have a better understanding of Kate’s progress. You’ll find her story under the topic category, “Kate’s Story.” It’d be great if you all would join our conversation…
All photos in today’s post were shot by Kate on visits to New Mexico.
Thank you for your encouragement about my voice and the work I’m doing to heal that. It’s a little funny that the one piece I “forgot” to mention in my report on my last session with my acupuncturist is that when he started probing the distal points of my throat, the main one of which is deep in the shoulder, he found a huge amount of tension and tightness, and also that the constriction that was so bad on the right has shifted over to the left, as a way of compensating, which he says is fairly normal. But the key thing he said was this (and he always prefaces his advice with “If I were an old Chinese sage, I’d say that…”): your body is telling me that you need to let go, and that you are struggling to do so. Such extreme sensitivity and tightness in this large intestine point tells us that you are having trouble letting go of something big, and it is very important that you work on this.” Then I told him about the big transition I have made in my life, leaving my job, etc., and that it is a scary place to be right now. He said, “I didn’t know that, but it was clear to me from your body.” I told him that I have a mentor (you) who has been there and has given me invaluable moral support, which he was happy to hear, and he said that he was excited for me and that even though it’s scary, I’ve been bold enough to go ahead and do it, unlike many people he knows who are simply not able to make the leap because they’re afraid to. He said if more people were able to do that there would be far fewer people needing his healing.
… About Anne Lamott, it’s funny that you mention her because I began reading Bird by Bird earlier this week! She just called very loudly to me, and I remembered your mention of her work in your blog. She is a very important writer for me to connect with and absorb right now, and I am really enjoying and learning a lot from reading her book. The passages you quoted in your message have really clicked with me. How did you and she get acquainted? Thank you for sharing her brilliant and funny work with your readers!
Wow, I guess I thought your acupuncturist knew about what you’re going through in your life. He must see the correlation between your having begun the letting go and coming back into your body. Listening to you talk about him makes me wish, deeply, that I could see him. But there will be another time and another healer for me.
I met Anne Lamott through Bird by Bird, but I can’t remember how I learned about her. I know I read it when I was first doing The Artist’s Way though. Then, back when BW and I left Utah for several months to go to Seattle for his diagnosis, we went to hear her speak. I can’t tell you how meaningful she was to me then. I was raw with shock and pain, judging myself harshly and feeling as unworthy as I’ve ever felt in my life. She was magnificent–fiercely intelligent, funny, grounded in her woman-ness. It’s fair to say that, for that time I was living in, she tossed me a life-line.
I just got back from a long day down and back to NYC, and I’m really wiped. Although my energy is exponentially better, it’s still not back to where it should be.
I did a lot of good Artist’s Way work on the train ride down and read Anne Lamott on the way back. I took notes on the street as I was walking around, and it felt pretty good to think about my big train trip [to New Mexico to see me] as a sort of symbol of entry into my new life. I may regret taking the train for that long, but if so, then in the future maybe flying won’t seem so bad. I can’t explain it, but I just feel like I need to be on the ground, feeling it pass under me, seeing the trees and dirt and cities and fields go by, for some reason, as part of my transition.
My voice is SO much better, by the way. I met BK in Grand Central very quickly today to give him moral support for his pending move on July 5th, and he said he could hear the ring back in my voice. He couldn’t believe the drastic change in the quality of my speaking voice over the past few weeks. And you’re right about this all being tied to my letting go of the job.
To be continued…
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Love to you all,