I’ve been on the Big Island of Hawaii for the past three weeks. Integrating, journaling, playing games, reading books, falling in love with the two dogs who live here, getting to know my father and his wife more deeply and just Being.
It’s been an interesting experience, coming without an agenda. I “knew” few things about this trip. I knew that it was supposed to be a month long. I knew that it was supposed to be a “writing retreat,” though I had no idea what that would look like, and for the first three weeks, it looked like journaling. I’ve always thought that I should journal. I know that many people speak to the healing that can come from journaling, but I could just never get in the habit. Well, I’ve journaled every day for three weeks now. Some days I would write a lot and other days I’d barely manage to write a half a page, but I wrote every day. I let the journaling call me the way the labyrinth calls me. So I didn’t have a set time of day, only the intention to journal every day.
Today, after 21 days of journaling, a book started to emerge. I’m writing about my journey through the triple spiral labyrinth, and I’m imagining that I’ll be including some of the blog posts from here, but really, I still have no completely clear idea. No outline, just following the path that seems to be set before me. Taking one step at a time. As I do with the labyrinth.
I’ve been writing for almost two hours this morning, which seems like a long time and no time at all.
I’m flanked by the two dogs, as I have been each day that I’ve sat down at the computer to write.
One of the mornings I decided to not let the dogs in the rest of the house, because their normal routine is to have access to the kitchen, but not the rest of the house when Ron and Barbara are off to work. This is mostly because one of the dogs, Maka, likes to chew things, and he tends to prefer Barbara’s left shoes. She has a multitude of right slippers (the Hawaiian term for flip flops) left over from pairs that Maka has claimed as chew toys. The two of them set up such a racket, barking and whining at the door when they realized that I was in here at the dining room table and they couldn’t get to me that I finally relented and let them in. They came in, wiggly and asking for pets and attention, which I gave them for a bit, then they circled a few times and settled down on each side of me to nap while I wrote. But all I was doing was journaling and then playing computer games or watching things on netflix or hulu.
Then this morning, or maybe last night as I was reading a Rumi poem, it occurred to me that the story that I’ve been using to keep me from writing – the story where I tell myself that everything that I’ve ever thought has been written before by much better writers than me, got busted because it occurred to me, that yes, everything has been written before, but not from my personal perspective. And my perspective, while not applicable to the whole of humanity, holds value for some. There are people out in the world who will benefit and be propelled on their own journey if I write about mine. They might find solace, they might find offense, they might find any number of things, but they’ll be spurred on to their own learnings, just as I have been spurred on on my path by the writings of those who’ve come before me. I don’t need to worry about who these people are and how they might find me. They’ll find me the same way that I found Rumi and Byron Katie and Richard Bach and Ursula Hegi (to name only a tiny few of the writers who have influenced me and my being).
I just need to write. So I’m writing. I wrote on the book this morning and then had the urge to post, so I’m here writing, updating you and me at the same time, as I find happens as I write. I end up writing things that I didn’t actually have clear thoughts about yet. The thoughts become clear as I put words to screen. (I wanted to write pen to paper, because that’s the phrase I like and am familiar yet, but it’s no longer accurate. I’m sitting in front of my husband’s laptop, my fingers gliding on the smooth keys of the MacBook Pro along the keyboard that before this trip I hated. Now that I’ve adjusted to it, I find that I love the feedback sound of the clicks, soft and almost papery (if that makes any sense at all) and the feel of the slight impression that I have to make as I hit the keys. It’s all very satisfying to my senses, sight, sound and touch. With Maka’s head leaning gently on my right shin, and Pono’s white body, fur ruffling in the breeze coming in through the open window, I feel peaceful and calm.
Oh, and now I’m bored with this. So, bye to you all. I’m off to write more, or maybe shower and then write. We’ll see. Right now I’m still typing. . . Okay, on the count of three, we’ll both say goodbye at once, right?