Someone I love dearly no longer feels relevant. This saddens me. I tell her how important she is—to me, to many people close to her, to the readers of the newspaper column she’s been writing since her retirement twenty years ago. I tell her that she doesn’t need to interrupt or assert, that she is in fact central, especially because of her kindness, her helpfulness and her fierce love that didn’t used to shine with quite the same intensity. But she is of an age considered old in consensual time and has not adjusted easily to the brutality of ageism. For reasons unexplained, she gets the not delivered message, despite the fact her texts are indeed received. A technical (cultural) glitch confirming she isn’t being heard. This makes her frantic.
Most mornings, when Mattie steps into the outside world, the first thing she does is bark. At what? This is before she’s descended the stairs or squatted to pee. Quite loudly I might add. Ok, ear piercing. Occasionally we have spotted a squirrel fearfully scampering up a tree in the neighbor’s yard (ah, that was it!) or a dog going potty on a patch of grass where she likes to do her business.
I keep trying to explain to my little one that we love her, that she is safe and central to our lives, and that there isn’t a day goes by I don’t think about how I will cope with losing her. I try to tell her to behave, that this street, this neighborhood, this world is home to many creatures and she must learn to share space and respect the quiet morning. That she mussn’t disturb the neighborhood with her boisterous shrill yap. But does she listen to reason?
Helloo world. It’s me! (lunging forward). My legs may be short, but make no mistake— I’m important.
This month marks one year since I’ve been posting blogs, which of course brings up the question of my relevance.
Does it matter that I’m here? Or am I merely chasing off the rodents in my head?
Yes, I admit. I wish I could brag about my number of subscribers and likes and shares. I wish I knew for certain that my words matter. And if they don’t, should I quit (the rodent’s choice)? If I can’t say anything meaningful, anything helpful about the chaos, the pain, the outrage, the beauty and heartache, the confusion and catastrophe that is out there in the world and that is also within me and all of us—why bother? Why bother saying anything at all?
Should I continue to share personal stuff, my inner world, the connection between my dreaming and my doing? Or should I write about my thinking, my theory and my client work? And who should decide?
These questions plague me.
I decided to dig a bit deeper to discern the real (most authentic for me) reason that I’m doing this.
That is… besides being liked.
Here’s what I found out.
Reasons I feel ok about:
1) To bring out the background ideas and philosophy of Processwork and deep democracy in a way that is embedded in story, that is fun to read and accessible to anyone, without being overly pedantic or theoretical.
2) To share my 30plus years of experience as a coach, facilitator, therapist and trainer in the hope that others can learn from my successes and mistakes.
3) Banking on a deep belief that being truthful and transparent about my personal struggles and discoveries can be helpful to others.
Reasons I consider self-indulgent, therefore less valid:
1) I’m often bored by my own circular logic, which leads me back to thinking I’m not good enough at this or that. Writing brings a more nuanced perspective.
2) I’m sometimes bored by the concrete world. When I write, connections get made; the everyday is elevated. Meaning is imposed. The dog’s woof is my woof.
3) I don’t know what I’m thinking about until I write it. Writing allows me to discover what’s important. I am opened up and sensitized to the beauty and pain in the world.
4) Writing makes me a better person. I am less cranky, more compassionate and infinitely more fun to be around when I stick to a creative discipline.
All of the above has little to do with fame, fortune and popularity. So for now, I’ll continue. But the truth is: I get a little flutter in my heart every single time you like or comment. So, thank you very much for being there. And if you wish, do let me know what interests you the most.
BTW. According to the metrics on my website, there is more activity than I would have suspected. This heartens me. But if I decide I want to reach a wider audience, I’d better figure out how to capture my adorable dog barking at the world.