“Love has your back”

Painted forest scene in our local café bathroom

Last August, while visiting my childhood home down in the Thumb of Michigan, I picked up a tattered copy of WILD MIND: Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg. I bought it at the library uptown (Barry laughs when we call it “uptown” in the tiny town of Yale, but you must walk up a hill to reach the downtown area, got it?) and paid either 25 or 50 cents for it. On second thought memory corrects: I chucked $1.00 in the donation box, not having the requisite coins.

My heart raced, my mind buzzed with wildness, while reading the first couple of chapters. Write, write, WRITE begged Natalie. Just pour your heart out on the blank white page! Let your unconscious wild mind reveal what NEEDS to be said, not what you think you should write. I deliciously wrote this heartfelt blog totally entertaining at least myself.

Some of you long-term readers love Natalie; a few of you not-so-much.

I haven’t thought of our writing diva since that sunny afternoon last August, but her book perched patiently on the bottom shelf on the brown stand beside my recliner. On this gray cloudy overcast muzzling morning as December moans and sputters and steadfastly wanes–the wandering fingers found WILD MIND and reached for its silent invitation to write. Write, oh write, ye ghosts of New Years past and future and everlasting now!

Where the Wild Things Are. (If you dare play along)

Of course–so many of you know how this goes–I have nothing to say. Perhaps you have nothing to say either. There’s no thousand word blog floating in the ethers of your brain. What I love about Natalie and other writing coaches is that they shake their heads and murmur: It doesn’t matter, Kathy. It doesn’t matter, John. It simply doesn’t matter, oh you who think you can’t write.

Just start WRITING!

Artistic plants in window at the Delft Bistro in Marquette

So what is it that the mind wants to say?

It wants to say, hmmm, how odd it is to get so inspired by one writer, one teacher, one project. Then in the next moment the Universe waves a magic wand and POOF! –it’s another ball of wax. Things are always shifting, changing, turning into bright shiny newness, bearing fruit, rotting in your stinky garden compost.

We perhaps hope 2020 and 2021 will–WOOSH!–disappear into the ethers, and life will be merry, merry, merry once again–and perhaps it shall. But I suspect 2022 will dawn with your usual array of fake and sincere smiles, runny noses, Facebook judgment, innocent babies, sciatica, challenging phone calls, tummy aches and achingly beautiful sunsets.

You can actually throw this candy wrapper in your compost and it turns to dirt!

Life unfolds like laundry fallen off the line. One minute it smells like soap and wind. The next minute look at the dirt smudges.

It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

It’s like a kite on a string, flying higher and higher before sometimes crashing back to earth. And your little kite flyer cries and thinks the world is ending, but you show him how to patch it up. Here, son. Here, daughter. Fly it again and again and again!

They say, whoever “they” may be, that we’re incredibly lucky to be born on this bright and shining and terrible and horrible and wonderful planet. Souls line up begging to be born. Let me live! they implore. You probably begged too. I’m sure I did, although I sometimes wonder why.

We arrive all butt-naked and squalling and many of us want to back out–let’s get outta here!–back to where it’s one way happiness–but the WILD MIND says, “No, sweetheart, relax into it. ALL of it. Love has your back. Love has your back. Remember that. Love has your back.”

The moon has our back, too

OK, I’ve typed 555 words and the Universe just revealed what it wanted to say. What the WILD MIND really wanted to articulate when you thought you had nothing to say. It wants to say this to each and every one of us, not just me.

Love has your back. Relax into 2022 and trust–no matter what happens–that Love holds you up through laughter and tears, spilt milk and sloppy jos.

Happiest of New Years, buckaroos! You do have something to say in your very own authentic voice. Just let the typing fingers have their way and finally the heart’s message will spill unto the page like a forgotten light from the bottom of a deep dark fairytale well. Or shining from a beady-eyed frog’s crystal ball.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in December 2021 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to “Love has your back”

  1. Writing just to write … fun! And a pleasant read came forth. 🙂 … on to 2022.

  2. Roger Hollar says:

    “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” [Love has your back].
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:7,13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  3. Carol says:

    Hmmm. I have had no words for a long time now. Some days I think maybe there are some words to share, but I have not yet sat down with hands on keyboard to see what happens next. Maybe in the new year, I’ll do that. In the meantime, I wish you a very happy new year, one where love continues to have your back.

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, I have watched for your blog for awhile now, wondering what is happening with you. I think sometimes we’re meant to be quiet and other times not. Sometimes to challenge ourselves if our minds think we have nothing say. Other times to nurture ourselves with silence. For me it’s always feeling into it to see which way to go… would love to see what the typing fingers would say if you thought there was nothing to report. Happy New Year to you in 2022, my friend!

  4. Anna says:

    Thank you for this beautiful, off the cuff, full of life, hope, and love message to start 2022. Yesterday everybody went home and today the house is quiet, the tree droopy, and I’m feeling pensive. Looking forward to what life in 2022 has to offer. Happy New Year, Kathy. (Love the moon photo)

  5. Happy New Year Kathy! I’ve never read Natalie Goldberg but I got ‘Wriiting Down the Bones’ for Christmas 🙂

  6. Stacy says:

    Yes, I believe she is right. When I sit down to write, thoughts unfold and take flight. I don’t do it as often as I used to – spending time with Granddaughter is how I spend my waking days. So until I put pen to paper, I read and find inspiration in others’ words.

    Happy, healthy, prosperous new year, Kathy! XOXO

    • Kathy says:

      You are so lucky to have your precious granddaughter, Stacy. Who knows when you’ll pick up a pen to write again? The Universe sings us in one direction, and then the other, doesn’t it? Happy New Year to you, too!

  7. Great post as always. The thing is- not everyone really knows how to write. I gave it a whirl on my blog about 2015 maybe it was. I wrote about my son’s border collie, and I stopped with one beginning and never went back. I tried writing about it from my perspective and also what my son might have been thinking. Not sure what tense that is supposed to be- maybe 2nd person past present? I have no idea why I wrote as I did, and I think that it was all wrong, so I stopped. I titled the post, “She was a Lady.” At any rate I always wanted someone that really knows how to write, to severely critique it for me but that never happened. Maybe one day I will get up the nerve to finish Lady’s story since it is cute and interesting and kind of sad even though she lived a good and long life. As for you, I think that you are a natural born writer and have the gift of gab- able to write about anything that comes to mind while making it an interesting read. Plus, you probably majored in English and creative writing and that does make a heap of difference.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, one thing that Natalie Goldberg and other writing coaches stress is that what’s important is to first get our story onto the page without self-criticism. Just spill out the story with wrong tense and misspellings and let the heart express itself like you did with Lady’s story. I am not sure about how one can edit the story into something worth telling, because it’s really hard for me to edit. So very challenging. I’ve tried to write a couple of books but they always sound awful, maybe even terrible. I can somehow manage to write short blogs using that gift of gab, but it would be a leap to move beyond into anything more professional. So I wish I could tell you how to take that raw story and turn it into something polished, but I don’t know how. But there’s surely a way to do it! (Majored in journalism!)

  8. Happy New Year, Kathy! Loved what your authentic voice brought forth here. The frog with the crystal ball is the perfect ending!

  9. Debbie says:

    Happy New Year, Kathy! Thanks for the nudge I need to start writing again — things have been crazy for so long, and I’ve a million ideas racing around my brain (some of which need to be put into print … or onto a screen!)

  10. merrildsmith says:

    Wishing you all the best in the new year!

  11. Dale says:

    I’ll start by wishing you a very Happy New Year (though I know we’ve done that already and I’m playing catch up reading blogs…)

    I do love this idea of writing. And to be honest, I think that’s exactly what my post of last night was. This morning I remembered how I had originally wanted to write about my challenge but what came out last night was just letting it go. Not such a bad way of going about it, don’t you think?

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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