Thursday, August 1, 2013

The good stuff

            I'm behind my self-imposed 8-ball as I sink into the center of writing a memoir.  I'm hoping to have the first draft finished by Labor Day, and oh, what a labor it's been to write through my twenties and early thirties.  I want to skip over all of the drama, tension, and cyclical behavior to get to the good stuff....the life I'm living now.
            Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way.  I know I wouldn't be where I am now -- mentally, emotionally and physically -- without all that has come before.  One can't expect to plant a seed and magically find a rose the next day, in a week, or even a month.  It took my lilac bush nine years to finally bloom.  And yet, it was worth the wait to watch those lovely blossoms open, to cut a bouquet and bring their aromatic fragrance into the house. 
            I've learned to have patience this summer...with the rainy weather, my little kitten, Aditi, who is still learning the ropes around here, with the slow and steady pace at which the memoir is unfolding.  Inspiration comes at the oddest of times, and I find myself jotting notes while eating dinner, weeding the garden, at a stop light, and even upon waking. 
            A few days ago I dreamt I was standing in a room watching a snake slither up the wall.  It transformed into a huge, green frog which leapt onto my left shoulder and sat there, gurgling and burbling until I woke up and realized Aditi was asleep curled up next to me, her heartbeat echoing in my ear.  I smiled and knew the frog was a harbinger of transformation, just like the butterflies I felt fluttering in my stomach last week.  Frogs bring messages of renewal and rebirth, of metamorphosis and the mysteries of life.
            It's certainly been a mystery watching this manuscript unfold.  Last May I abandoned the outline I'd spent nearly six months constructing, only to let the narrative flow wherever it might lead me.  In July I revisited moments with my grandfather, sunny days in the summer of 1975 when I swam in my neighbor's pool, and the "class from hell" that I taught in 1989.  This month I'll be returning to the genesis of building my yoga business, the move to California and back, and the host of surprises that awaited my return. 
            Throughout the process I've told my friends that everyone in their forties could benefit from compiling stories from their lives.  It's given me a perspective of how very far I've come on this road less traveled...and how curious I am about the road yet to be seen. 
            All in all, I've come to discover it's been an amazing ride.  Light or dark, contented or anxious, delighted or delirious, it's all good stuff. 
            And then some.