After days of flu, I begin to feel quite clear.
Although I usually feel fairly vulnerable in the world when I compare myself to others, or more so compare myself to the ideas my younger self had about what I might become, when ill there is little energy even for those comparisons.
The pattern becomes something like “nap and listen, nap and listen.”
In listening, I saw.
- That I like things rustic and slightly undone. That I lose interest in things that are too well-packaged.That I long for beauty in the midst of chaos–mud and lotus together–and turn off when flaws aren’t allowed, especially in writing (no matter how much I try to hide them in my own).
- But that actually that’s not true. It is when mud and lotus are one that I feel at peace. When each reveals the other’s meaning, but when there is no trace of having erased the flaws, even where that might have happened.
- It is something like a book I read, Cutting Back, by Leslie Buck, in which she as a master gardener describes her apprenticeship in Japan, and the strenuous work that it took to learn which branches to leave or cut away, which needles to brush out of the ancient pines.
I’m terrified that I’ll never allow myself that level of authenticity.