Trust the process, part 6 (Procrastination)

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I have to admit this post is an act of pure procrastination. I have two book annotations to write for my next packet of graduate work. I am still in my jammies at 10:21AM and the house is quiet except for the fish tank trickling, the bunny crashing around the play room and playing a piece by Henry Purcell. I am enjoying my newly re-arranged den made cozier in preparation for the steadily approaching cold weather. I have written in my journal while eating creamy, homemade oatmeal. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Well, it is. And – rare for me – I am living in this moment without much thought for anything else. Which is why I felt the need to put the moment into words.

For some reason though, I am hesitant to begin writing an essay on one of the most influential books I have read in a few years. Here are a few of the others (note: many, many books have influenced me, these are just the truly life-changing ones):

Katherine, Anya Seton (When I first became fascinated with medieval history and costume on which I wrote my undergrad history-honors thesis and was first introduced to Women’s History as a formal subject and a personal interest.)

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron (How I began journaling and realized I AM an Artist and Writer and have a right to call myself so.)

The God We Never Knew, Marcus Borg (When I first discovered that my own ideas on God and religion were not crazy and that there was more to it (and me) than my church had told me.)

A Voice of Her Own, Marlene Schiwy (Put together my first journaling workshop based on this book – it beautifully reinforced the power of personal writing for women.)

Leaving the Fold, Marlene Winell (Helped the healing process of working through the damaging affects of dogmatic, fundamental religion on my Self and self-worth.)

And now, I can add Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd.

I read this book like one enjoys a fabulous meal with a friend: the sensuous pleasure of different tastes and aromas mingling with intelligent, friendly conversation and that delicious feeling of becoming more satisfyingly full with every luscious, nutritious bite.

Ms. Monk writes her thoughts, feelings and experiences and they resonated on a deep level with me. She introduced me to new, enlightening thoughts and ideas. I felt like Dorothy in the Land of Oz when she opens her eyes to see before her a foreign land full of color and fascinating inhabitants. And much like Oz, in this new land there were also some slightly frightening and intimidating elements – because they are as yet unknown.

Sacred Feminine.

Never given that any thought. But yes, now I do. It is as some part of me as a woman was missing. Raised in a God the Father, Jesus the Son religion where woman is the source of evil while living in a patriarchal world which has not acknowledged a feminine divinity for over 3,000 years, and which continues to rape Mother Earth and degrade the natural beauty of her and us, her daughters, I mourn the imprisonment of the Sacred Feminine – mine and that of all women. (Did you know the origin of word mother is “matter” – of the earth?)

Kind of a big subject – and so I procrastinate. What is my resistance? (Resistance is a powerful message, pay attention to it!) What am I scared of? Unformed thoughts? Still raw emotions?

How do you write about a journey to a just-discovered destination while still just marveling at the brochures?

Prompt: I procrastinate on_____ because…



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Volumes of wisdom

Visit my bookstore for some of the books I love.

Every night I sleep next to Barbara Kingsolver, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Christina Baldwin, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Anne LaMott, and Tristine Rainer. They don’t get much action but I love them all and like having them close by.

Books on journaling, books on writing, and couple more on parenting. A few novels, two Brain, Child editions and an extra journal for those nights when I awake with an idea or a dream that is in danger of dissipating before dawn. Atop it all is my planner, my faithful sidekick which not-so-subtly informs me I do not have any extra minutes with which to read these volumes of verbiage.

I wish I had the ability to absorb all the knowledge and wisdom these books hold lovingly between their covers. The spirituality of the some of these writers astounds and inspires me. I want to take in every thought they have committed to paper, not just for myself and this journey I am on, but for those of you who read this blog and those I will be teaching in the future.

I also want to read to become a better writer myself. These writers have honed their craft until words cease to be just words. They become art on a canvas or a tug at the heart. Reading becomes the peace of the woods, the refrain of a chorus, the fingernail of a newborn baby.

I fantasize about sitting alone next to a roaring fire reading, writing, reading and writing some more. Lots of hot coffee, smooth chocolate, and sweet wine.

And quiet.

But my reality is far from that: Noise, school morning and bath time craziness, blogs to read and write, TV-addiction (yes, I admit it, but only a few particular shows), and a house that doesn’t respect me enough to keep clean.

Unlike a lover who would not tolerate being so often spurned, the precious ladies on my nightstand are willing to wait, are even amendable enough to allow the newest gem to be placed on top. Little by little I will glean what I can, when I can. Meanwhile I am hoping that their very presence next to my pillow is enough to make me a wiser, deeper, and more thoughtful woman, mother, and teacher.

What’s on your nightstand? What does it say about you?