You know… A lot can happen in a year. A lot of little things and a lot of big things that change the colors of the blanket we are weaving.
Sam and I sold the place in Anderson and are renting an apartment back in Paradise. It’s funny for that to fit into one simple sentence. What led up to that and the actual process could fill a book.
I waited to write to you, waited to be inspired to connect, to share, to have thoughts come to me that were worth the effort. After a year I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. I asked myself where I turned the corner from inspired to what’s-the-point. The fire certainly triggered it and the pandemic locked it into my cells like a slamming door. I wondered whether or not I would ever again feel that zest for writing and life in general. Was this yet another piece that aging has ripped away.
The trouble with self-help books is, a million authors are saying the same thing with a different twist. But when Getting It Done When You’re Depressed popped onto Kindle suggested reads amidst my usual genre of sci-fi and light reading novels, the word “depressed” hit me with a strange familiarity. Besides it was on sale that day for $1.99 – not much to lose.
I didn’t read the entire book, but within the first couple of chapters it offered up the trigger, a shocking realization that if I waited for the inspiration that used to flood through me like a river, I’d never write another word. Just start the author said – motivation may come or it may not. Stay with it, finish it. The hardest part was getting past that small voice in my head kept repeating what is the point.
Shortly before our move from Anderson to Paradise, my dear friend, Jan Greenwald passed from a stroke. More than a friend, Jan is one of my soul people. Jan is (not ready to say was yet) the artist who shares the website with me. He and I talked regularly on the phone, speaking an earthy, metaphysical language that covered a range of topics from our families to the condition of the world, to that bright thread of divine light that flows through artistic work. We held up the mirror to each other, the one that allows you see things in different way. I will miss this man of kindness and wisdom.
Nearly a month later and I mostly only cry when I talk to sweet Rosemary, Jan’s wife. We cry together. It may always be that way.
Sam and I are now semi-settled into this apartment. We’ve let our shoulders down and have already fallen into a comfortable rhythm. The sense of isolation I felt for the three years in Anderson has lifted. “Depression” seems only a word now. Sadness washes over me at times, but I invite it in like an old friend.
Iris, my friend who owns the gift shop, Nothing But Love Paradise, invited me to sell some of my art there. Her excitement to see me infected my spirit with a dose of healthy enthusiasm and a renewed sense of purpose.
We’re shopping for a vacant lot to build on back here in Paradise with the help of a grant from ReCoverCA, a process that could take some time. The population here is only about 8,000, compared to 27,000 before the fire, so there are a lot of choices. We’re taking our time.
More than ever, I have the sense that life is orchestrated and if I can stand out of my own impatient way, things will fall into place according to plan.