December 11, 2010

#Reverb 10 - days one through five

In typical Teresa fashion, last night I signed up and promised to get started with #Reverb10.  Then I promptly composed the list of ten, looked at the questions, felt overwhelmed and turned off my computer.  I suppose this is what happens when one decides to catch up on ten daily prompts late on a Friday night.

As I was drifting to sleep many of the questions floated in my cerebral soup and I knew that I would wake up ready to attack.  Instead I woke up and cooked a massive fry up.  There is nothing like a pot of coffee, two eggs sunny side up and mixed greens to give this girl just enough courage to reflect honestly and begin the framing of what is to come.

I have ruminated and written on days one through five and am ready to release them.  Days six through ten will follow shortly after a pause to rest my mind.  And then I will begin again with day eleven, the greatest day of every month.
[Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?]

Return. 
After two years out of country I returned to the United States.  The end of our time in Japan was paired with my return to life at home.  I have returned to my space, having chosen a path that takes me out of the working world and into the domestic.  While I welcome this return to center and home, the thought of being stationary for three years overwhelms my itinerant soul.

Peace. 
As I move towards 2011, I am aware of the unsettled nature of my spirit working itself to the surface.  With the gift of return and stability that this next period of our lives has given me, I would like to move beyond my restless nature into a greater sense of peace.
[What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?]

I doubt my ability to write with clarity and so lack the discipline to actually record my thoughts. 
I am not a writer by nature, you could call me a diligent historian and observer, but a writer I have never been.  The recording of things is a struggle both in words and images, however it is worthy of effort and an exercise that helps me grow as an individual.  Throughout my life I have had a series of journals that rarely get filled beyond the first ten pages, but my mind is overflowing with words.   

Over the last three years I have been challenged by this exercise in writing to frame myself, to focus my mind and to produce…something.  I am not quite sure how to eliminate doubt, beyond continuing and trusting that with practice I will find my voice.
[Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). ]

Our snowshoeing expedition along the rooftop of Japan in honor of birthdays and St. Valentine.
A singular afternoon remains with me from 2010.  On Sunday, February 14th my husband and I went snowshoeing on the back of Yatsugatake.  We started too late, had no clear idea of where we were going, and yet, the moment we stepped off of the gondola we both knew that we had arrived in an other-worldly kind of place.  Instead of strapping on a board or pair of skis and escaping back down the mountain, we turned our backs on the slopes and set off to explore the landscape.
 

Neither of us anticipated the magic of disappearing into a mountain range.  We walked upon the snow with ease, at branch level, high above the frozen ground.  We whispered back and forth, exclaiming at the absolute silence that descends upon snow covered hills on a still day.  We walked in circles and smiled, and we felt entirely alone for the only time in our two years in Japan.
 

Until the spell was broken when a foursome of middle aged Japanese, all outfitted in the latest cold weather gear, the men snapping away with rather large cameras on ski pole mono-pods and the women exclaiming "sugoi!" with every step, slipped over the horizon and into our world of make believe.  We laughed and made our way back to the gondola, and descended into reality once more.
[How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?]

I looked up.
This past year was my first in my fourth decade.  This aging of me has brought about an awareness that I have in truth become an adult and that growing-up was a silly thing to strive for.  What I strive for now are those heart exploding moments of bliss that come with contentment, grace and a healthy sense of amazement at all that surrounds.   

Whenever my awareness of my own grownupness would begin to weigh me down over the past year, I found my gaze drifting towards the sky.  The way the clouds seem to write their stories across a backdrop of ever changing shades of blue inspires me.  This year, I discovered that a glimpse towards heavens infuses my soul with wonder.
[What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?]

I let go of work.
Many of us live our lives attempting to reach a balance so that we can answer the question “Do you live to work or work to live?” in the way that soothes our soul.  If you think you live to work, spend some time in Japan, life is defined by work in a way that I don’t think many cultures can even comprehend.  My two years working within the periphery of this cultural construct challenged me to walk away from the working world and plunge head first into a domesticated life.

2010 was the year that I threw the live|work dilemma out the window and walked away from gainful employment and back through my own front door.  I feel everyday blessed that I have been given this choice, to pursue a life with passion that does not require I have a paycheck deposited into my account every couple of weeks.  Now that I am six months into my life at home, I am wondering where this freedom will take me.

1 comment:

kym & Dustin said...

'With the gift of return and stability that this next period of our lives has given me, I would like to move beyond my restless nature into a greater sense of peace."
I Love this. Its hard to get restlessness out of you...but thinking of the peace that looms..it is well worth the fight.
I am on that same journey.

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