A note / brief acknowledgment / entry / pre-
Here in the United States things are extra tumultuous at the moment, we knew in November of 2016 that many rights and provisions were precarious, about to become more so, or already on their way out; and now we are experiencing an especially painful week, after so many painful weeks.
I have no wisdom to contribute, and do not wish to add to the Many Takes, so that is not what I’m writing about here. Just wanted to acknowledge the energy weight of it all, from the swirl of tumult to the extremely reasonable Big Fear to the many forces of chaos at play.
Wishing for a better world. Wishing extra safety, sanctuary & steadiness superpowers to all uterus-havers out there. Lighting a candle for whatever hope-glimmers may come, may they come swiftly, here’s to the glimmering. ❤️
It Solves Itself
I stayed in Tucson longer than anticipated. Eventually my poor sweet car got patched up, thanks to the superpower of I know a guy who knows a guy, and with enormous appreciation to everyone who gave money to Barrington’s Fund to cover the emergency.
And I myself filled up on a much-needed dose of sweetness-fuel in the form of a quiet peaceful evening catching up with someone I care about tremendously.
Somehow the combination of these accumulated bits of magic and support generated enough oomph to send me on my long sojourn into the wilds, back to the sailboat.
The sailboat that is not a sailboat
The sailboat is not technically a sailboat, it’s my 150sq ft tiny house trailer in rural New Mexico, but it feels like a sailboat, and when I am in it (or on it), listening to the winds beating against the metal awning, I feel as though I am on the waves.
It is boat-like, in its cozy compactness, in the way it moves and breathes.
Even though, like me, the sailboat is in need of some patching up, it is my haven.
Not lost, just at sea
I can watch the junipers moving in the wind too. I peek through the portholes, gazing at the clouds as they passage across the bluest sky, and I am at sea. In a good way.
Not lost, not cast-about or cast-away, just: at sea.
A gentle floating adventure for the most part. Sometimes it’s a quiet, peaceful coasting, other times I find myself resolutely battening down the hatches in great awe of the mighty winds, but still I cherish sailboat time.
A sea change
My moods shifted too, once I got here.
The anxiety vanished, while the Great Lethargy changed form, from the molasses-slow unable to care about anything, unable to want to care about anything that characterized much of my time in Tucson to something much more simple: a bone tired exhaustion.
A sea change. Suddenly not lethargic or in a malaise, in fact surprisingly peaceful, just deeply tired, so very tired. Unable to contemplate doing.
I climbed into bed at 5pm and alternately read and gazed out the window for two hours, slept deeply for eleven and a half hours, dreaming of other times and places.
Three days and three nights
Woke up: slow bobcat stretches, meditation, 34×17 undulating abridged sun salutations that I like to call sundulations. Breakfast, wash dishes, straight back to bed to nap all afternoon.
Then a warm sponge-bath because I still have no hot water and can’t shower.
Red grapefruit juice in a wine glass. Ten minutes rolling feet on a ball, twenty minutes on the small wooden balance board, watching the juniper trees. Back to bed to read cookbooks.
I did exactly this and nothing else for three days and three nights.
I will add that my morning rituals, while definitely markedly more sleepy, subdued and effortful than usual, otherwise seemed to be mostly untouched by the Great Tired, as if I’d been granted an exception by the exhaustion gods, for sanity purposes.
A recess, of sorts. An allotted time for movement, the rest of the time for bed.
Monster Variations, in G
While it was mostly refreshingly peaceful to do nothing, offline, away from the world, surrounded by nature, a blessed break from the anxiety, no city noises and nothing to disturb my view, obviously it wasn’t all peaceful.
While I was relieved to have emerged from depression-fog, sleeping this much and having no energy (for anything other than my morning rituals) with no explanation was a new mystery to me.
The lovely relief was met with every possible monster-story doom-scenario running through my head competing to explain the depth of my exhaustion.
From all variations of “clearly something is terribly wrong with you” worry-stories to “you are missing your chance to do spring cleaning, catch up on projects and get any work done” stress-stories.
Except I couldn’t do anything but rest, and so I didn’t.
You are here (you are still here)
A wise friend used to say that the greatest blessing and greatest detractor of living in a body is that, from the perspective of the body, it is always and only RIGHT NOW.
And, from the perspective of the body, right now is indistinguishable from forever.
For better and for worse. On the plus side, you get the gift of presence: an opportunity to ground into body wisdom in every moment, to sink into felt sense. The grounded reassuring You Are Here on the map.
Right here, right now. The body can tell me everything about how it is experiencing this exact moment, if I can get quiet enough to listen, if I can not-judge, and just respect the information.
A puppy, basically
And the flip side of that of course is that a body is kind of like a dog friend, or a toddler. Just no sense of how time works.
No matter how patiently I try to explain, my sweet bewildered puppy of a body simply cannot understand that [unpleasant sensation X] or [uncomfortable emotion Y] will not be how we feel forever.
As far as my body is concerned, this moment is forever. There’s literally nothing else.
Luckily we have body-mind, and the mind part does understand logic, time and pattern-mapping. We can extrapolate from past experience and memory. We can redirect our thoughts or reframe them, and we can play as many rounds as we want of what is true and what is also true…
What is true and what is also true?
What is true: I am this tired right now.
What’s also true: There is no reason to assume that I will be this tired forever. We are running an experiment, we are letting this tiredness play out, making room for deep rest.
What is true: I am noticing fear that Nothing Will Change.
Also true: Sure, that’s because my body lives in Right Now, where of course nothing is changing because I am experiencing this moment as my entire reality. We can stay expansive, pay attention to bigger patterns. And: we have options. If nothing changes, we will shift the parameters of the experiment.
What is true: I am feeling worried that I will always be this tired.
Also true: Everything changes. There are many likely contributing factors for cumulative exhaustion, including the great amount of stress I have been under. Observing the pattern changes the pattern. We can be active participants in the healing process, and also let ourselves catch up on rest.
And It Solves Itself
This is one power phrase that I sometimes add to my morning sundulations.
I do these in sets of seventeen: following my mental compass of qualities first clockwise, and then counter-clockwise, repeating north again at the top.
North. Northeast. East. Southeast. South. Southwest. West. Northwest. North. And then all the way back to North.
Each compass point has a quality I wish for or aspire to, and each set introduces a new quality. For example, the twenty-first set is about being Formidable, and North is always Fierce, so my twenty-first compass begins and ends with I am Fierce & Formidable, Formidable & Fierce.
And the power phrase gets added to everything, no matter how the phrase wishes to configure itself.
I stay fierce, I become more formidable, It Solves Itself. My formidable fierceness solves itself.
What is the magic in And It Solves Itself
The superpower of And It Solves Itself is about Do Less To Get More.
It is about I am wishing the wish and stepping away.
It is about What if this does not require my input.
Which means it is very much about trust, intuition, play, and patience, which to me is also a form of play.
Aka the waiting game, the long game, the this is my game game.
What is being solved when we add And It Solves Itself
I don’t know, and that’s why I’m adding it. Because it’s not a thing I can know until it happens.
It Solves Itself is solving for x when you have no idea what x is.
It is solving for x while putting every possible version of maybe-this-is-x into the pot.
It is asking for a solution that does not involve more than the ask, because you don’t know what the next steps are, and so asking is what is left. Maybe the ask will reveal the steps, or one next indicated step.
And if it doesn’t, then hey, at least you asked.
Asking for And It Solves Itself is, for me, very much a declaration of faith.
To ask means: I am willing to be surprised. And it means: I am willing to do what needs doing, once I know what that is.
More than anything it means: I am willing to bravely stop trying to “do”, “solve” and “fix”, instead I will do nothing, other than wait for new information to come to light.
Napping as a form of It Solves Itself
Can I allow my long afternoon sailboat naps to offer their own solution? To be their own solution?
Can I sleep into And It Solves Itself.
Can it solve itself deliciously, beneath the surface, in the not-doing?
I love remembering that a solution is also a body of water, and guess what else is a body of water, A BODY IS A BODY OF WATER. My body is a body of water, both in that I am literally mostly water, and also a dreamy piscean water sign who feels big feelings and loves to float.
Can this deep rest that I crave be a salt-water solution? An immersion, dissolution, possibly a flowing, whatever it needs to be.
What else solves itself or can solve itself or can be a form of solving itself
Bobcat stretching as a form of it solves itself.
Recipe-reading as a form of it solves itself.
Food prep as a form of it selves itself.
On the fourth day, I finally had the energy to drive to the nearest supermarket (an hour away, considerations regarding groceries is kind of a production when you live out in the wilds) and pick up a few things. Then went right back to sleep.
The fifth day, I made it all the way to town.
I felt strange, something was off, but couldn’t tell how much of that was my week of hibernation and how much was Something Else, something external, or maybe just being in proximity to people again.
Dust and wind
Dust was blowing up and around everywhere, an ominous sky. I felt a familiar anxiety-thrum that I associate with barometric pressure changes in the desert.
Checked the weather app to confirm, yes, a severe warning out for High Winds.
The app advised not going anywhere, which wasn’t an option, and staying away from trees, except I have to head through national forest if I want to return to the sailboat.
The question became: what is more foolish? I could risk falling branches and high chance of forest fire to get back to the sailboat where I won’t have enough signal to check on the weather or call for help if I need it, that would definitely be foolish.
Or I could drive through a dangerous dust storm to Arizona where in theory I would be able to get access to wifi, assuming I could get there in one piece.
Through hell and high winds
Should I stay or should I go. I chose GO, and I am not sure why.
Wow, babe, this might be the worst decision you’ve ever made!”, I whispered to myself encouragingly, crossing the continental divide in the whipping dust-winds, watching a pickup truck with a trailer veer wildly across the lines on the hill ahead.
But then I remembered I’ve done way more foolish and ill-advised things in this life, so I named them, as many as I could think of, as I white-knuckled my way through the dust storm.
Tumbleweeds were flying across the road. The wind was making sounds I’d never heard before. Hours passed, the sky shifted. Eventually the dust storm calmed, or maybe I just left its path.
It solved itself
I made it to Tucson and still wasn’t sure I’d made the right choice, until I received word that a fire had broken out not even a couple miles from my sailboat.
Had I turned around, I would have driven directly into a fire. Or, had I somehow made it to the sailboat before the fires I would have been in the smoke and the terror of it all, no way to contact anyone or figure out the best next move.
Turns out sleeping for a week in order to gather enough energy to drive through a dust storm was possibly the smartest thing I’ve ever done, ever. Maybe it was pre-recovery. Didn’t even think of that.
Like aftercare but when you don’t yet know you need it. Haha except I always need it, so there’s that…
What’s the important question
Was I pre-recovering so I could do this drive to safety?
Maybe yes, maybe no, that can’t be the important question. It’s done, it happened. I’m okay, and, miraculously, so is the sailboat. It took several days of tense waiting but the fires have been contained.
Alright, so what’s the important question? Let’s find out.
Other things on my mind
Things are solving themselves on the physical (in the hard) and solving themselves behind the scenes (in the soft).
Often it feels as though they are doing the opposite of solving themselves, which is why this is a faith-based practice.
I think about how the biggest and most mysterious mysteries of my life in 2020 and 2021 have entirely resolved themselves, even though they felt entirely impossible and out of reach.
Is it possible that today’s Impossible Impossibles too will resolve themselves, that the current storms will ride themselves out?
I mean, I don’t know. I hope so. We will see. They will or they won’t. Still, it’s a good reminder for me to hope, to hold fast to the hope-glimmers, maybe I had a glimpse and lost it, maybe the skies will clear again.
Returning (or not) to practice (or not)
Meanwhile I have entirely lost interest in my physical practice again, so possibly I need new rituals, or maybe returning to what was lost is its own secret op, or who knows, maybe this is just one of the many mysteries that is still in a process of self-resolving.
One aspect might be that I don’t have a way to listen to music, which is its own conundrum. I have to motivate myself in new ways that don’t involve a spontaneous dance party.
Can I put this into the pot with my ongoing wish of And It Solves Itself, and let it solve itself?
What is appealing? What or where is the new spark?
Exhausted Desert Assassin ISO A New Spark
Maybe part of riding things out includes the many forms that can take.
Sometimes I ride them out but sometimes I sleep them out, stretch-out them out, nap them out, horchata them out…
Yes that is interesting, can I cook my way out of a storm? Can I delicious my way through a scary moment, an unsure process?
Yes, maybe DELICIOUS is my missing verb, even though I know it is not meant to be particularly verb-like. Sorry, I need it to be one right now! Maybe I am in search of a new verb and a new spark…
Can I pleasure my way through this tension and make the experience something new? Yes please, I wish to delicious my way through…
The Worry Report
Waiting for news and updates on the fire was its own form of exhaustion. I couldn’t tell if I was worn out from the stressful drive, or from waiting to hear any word. It was difficult to distract myself.
I waited for clues. The wifi stopped working. I waited some more.
Good news, my friends, the fire has been pretty much contained so now I can stop panicking about that, and return to our regularly scheduled program of The Usual Worries! Tune in at 5 for The Worry Report!
Maybe that’s why I wasn’t able to do my morning practice of being a bobcat. Maybe that’s why all I can do is pace anxiously.
Maybe I am anxious-pacing as a new form of napping. Do X and It Solves Itself. Or, even better, do not do X, and let it solve itself.
Okay, so if anything can be X, then what would I like to be doing while It Solves Itself?
Solving, yet again, for X
Just like with The Horchata Proxy, I have to go where the spark is, wherever the deliciousness might be.
Which, like everything else, is a moving target. Everything is changing, all the time. What is delicious, for me, in this moment. What is appealing? Where is the pull?
I have some plums from my friend’s tree. What do I want to do with plums?
A writer’s “block” block
I dislike this phrase (“writers block”) because it is so unnecessarily stressful and blame-filled. And also because it is anchored in a false reality where the creative process needs to happen ASAP, which is not even something I believe in.
I believe in things taking the time they take. I believe in seeds beneath the surface.
Applause for the seeds, they are doing their seed thing, and I am not going to rush them, I am only going to celebrate their existence, celebrate nourishment, celebrate hope-glimmers, and keep loving the ground.
And also, yes, I did run into a block, in the form of someone else’s expectations, which happen to be expectations I am uninterested in meeting. And since then I can’t seem to want to sit down to say anything, or uncover anything. Okay, so that’s where we’re at.
Compassion for this. Acknowledgment & legitimacy for this. I am going to keep loving my patch of earth and whispering to the seeds.
What do we know about this?
Ah yes, the best way to unblock a block is to either do something unexpected and be contrarian, or do something completely expected just in an unexpected way, or to throw caution to the wind and do something very expected, do thing that always works, okay, maybe with a twist.
And so I took myself on a treasure hunt, to see if it would solve itself.
Treasure hunt treasures
My treasure hunt was revealing, which is the main quality I want from a treasure hunt.
I visited my saguaro friends and talked to them about my troubles. Called my wise uncle in Oregon. When he answered the phone, I said HELLO OREGON. He said HELLO MONTANA, even though I am not in Montana. Svevo understands how assassins operate. I finally felt ready to make horchata.
Then I made chocolate horchata banana bread, in the most unlikely way possible, substituting every single ingredient other than chocolate, bananas and horchata, which itself was a substitute for oat milk. It turned out outrageously delicious.
Did you know that banana bread anagrams to Bandana Bear? Neither did I. How adorable is that.
Anyway, here’s to my favorite superpower of all time: Solved By Cake.
I remembered the practice of Deliciousness as Sorcery, Deliciousness as Ritual, Deliciousness as Medicine.
And I remembered the practice of hope-glimmers, and being a finder-thereof.
Anyway, I am glad that May is here, a time for newness, renewal, recalibrations, and a great flowering. At least here in Tucson where all the palo verde trees are blooming at once, blanketing the desert in yellow.
Hope sparks. One thing at a time. Wishes into the pot. Timers. Stretching like a bobcat. Staying attuned to all possible examples of oh look, It Solved Itself.
Even when I am unable to trust the process, the process is still processing, what if this is solving itself?
And something about…not a positive spin exactly, that’s not what I mean, what do I mean, let me find you an example…
An example which I hope will also make you laugh, it made me laugh
Okay, for example, I was feeling so frustrated about how I don’t have wifi at the sailboat, and now I also don’t have it at any of my Tucson safe houses, and my phone is basically broken, it works to send texts (as long as I don’t need the space bar, or the letters A, S or W), but not much else.
And now I have to find a way to get this online…
But then during my Monday Meeting, I was talking to The Sleek Assassin, and they said something about how maybe my sorcery is so powerful that wifi can’t co-exist around me, and I laughed so hard.
Is it true? Who can say! Is it hilarious? Absolutely. So now I’m finding the treasure in being offline, and honestly, it’s kind of a good time for it.
I am wishing us ease of ease, joyful recalibrations, sweet emerging, loving the ground, useful flowerings, surprise good news, delicious as a verb, new forms of comfort, and/or whatever we need most.
Hope-glimmers everywhere. Glimmering glimmering glimmering. I wish to get better at glimmering as a verb, and at noticing the glimmer.
Adding the superpowers of It Solves Itself, The Impossibles Are Shifting, Miracles Abound.
Maybe I will post this at the library, maybe from a friend’s patio. It will solve itself, however it solves itself.
May it be so or something even better. Hello, new month, new experiments, new wishes, flowers everywhere.
Come play with me, I love company
You are welcome to play with any of the concepts here in any way you like.
You can brainstorm appealing experiments or explorations for May, you can join me in being very excited about horchata banana bread, I will take pics if I get a working camera option again.
And as always, you’re invited to share anything sparked for you while reading, themes you’re playing with, or add any wishes into the pot, into the healing zone, as a friend of mine said, who knows, the power of the collective is no small thing, and companionship is healing.
If you received clues or perspective or just want to send appreciation, I could use some miracles right now with my emergency situations.
I am accepting support (with joy & gratitude) in the form of Appreciation Money to Barrington’s Discretionary Fund. Asking is not where my strength resides but Brave & Stalwart is the theme these days, and pattern-rewriting is the work, and it all helps with fixing what needs fixing.
Or buy a copy of the my Monster Manual & Coloring Book if you don’t have it!
And if those aren’t options, you can light a candle for support or light one in your mind, share one of my posts with people, tell people about this work, that all helps, and I appreciate it so much. ❤️