I have been feeling very squirmy lately about my life. I realize that this is a time for redefining. For the past 18 years, at just about this time, I have been preparing for the new school year. For the past 24 years, I have been living with my children. Now I am on sabbatical and my girls are both gone. I don’t really know who I am without those identities–mother and teacher. I know I want to do more writing, but I’m afraid–that I won’t succeed, that I will succeed, that I’m too old, that it’s just not realistic, that I won’t have enough money to live on ( also a concern as a Waldorf teacher).
There is that great quote by Rilke fromLetters to a Young Poet–do you know it?
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is,to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
it is hard for me to live with the question–who am I? what will this year bring? I’m used to googling everything and having an answer almost instantly. Actually, all sorts of things come up when you google “who am I”, but they’re not really helpful
When I was at the Socity of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrator’s conference last week (which was fabulous–more about that later), I had a critique on the first 10 pages of my middle grade novel, “Beyond the Land of Dreams.” It was helpful, but one of the things my critiquer told me was that no one likes to hear about other people’s dreams. There are a lot of dreams in the book, but I have always been fascinated by dreams, mine and others. So anyhow, here is mine (please note that I have been watching a lot of “Frasier” this summer):
Niles Crane is dying. He has been for a long time. Daphne sends for a Buddhist monk to do a ceremony to help him get over his fear of dying so he can make the transition. The monk, dressed in a blue grey robe, surrounds Niles with white roses and tosses blue paper confetti in the air. He takes Niles’ hand and a ball of black energy passes from Niles into the monk and then disappears. Niles feels better and begins to recover and not die.
When I woke up, I realized that I wanted to kill off the sick part of me–the part that has celiac and gets sick from so many other things, too. But I also realized that this part of me is the sensitive part, the part that feels what others feel, who understands the children who are too small to speak, who feels compassion and joy.
So my mission for this year is to embrace that sensitive part of myself, to surround her with beauty and love. And to live with the question.
Wish me luck!!!
Thanks for listening!!