I am here. I have created the sanctuary and I am here. My walls are pink. My books surround me. Old fabric and dragonflies and candles and photographs and talismans. I have my computer and my cat blanket and my rose-covered couch and a bansai tree named Francie that I haven’t yet killed. Craig sent it to me, with a note that said, “In your space of creativity, a tree should grow.” That tree is a reminder that I have friends who know me, and have faith in me. I remember to be grateful when I look at that, and I feel a surge of love towards my friend that I might not express to him right away, but believe that somehow, on some energetic level, he can feel, and be uplifted. I have many reminders of those connections in this room, and that is why I know that whatever is waiting inside me to be written will find its way forth. I have given it all a very soft place to land, with a little help from my friends.
I did my candle-release ritual tonight, and it was particularly effective. It’s been a big year, and I have had some experiences that have changed me. More than usual, I think. I won’t rehash them all, and it’s sort of nice to know that some people who are reading this now already know them. I’ve written the backstory here…at least most of it. The secret stuff, the private stuff, I haven’t given you. But the thing is…I’ve written it down. Not here, but in my journal. I wrote my way through it all this year.
In my burning ritual, I lit candles for different kids. I had a lot of kids this year who suffered incredible losses. Huge heartbreaks and many tearful nights. I wish I had done more to ease their passage. I tried, but there is only so much I can do in the time I have with them. This year, though, I think I could have done more, and so I lit a candle tonight to forgive myself for that, and remind myself to do better. I lit one for the kids in Seussical, and another for the kids that are going to be in our summer bookclub, and one for the ones who made a new friend this year. I lit a special one, in a sparkly holder for my play, for the kids I wrote it for and the ones who were in it, for the learning curve of the process, for my risk-taking in writing it, for the changes it brought me in perspective in two very important areas of my life. Chemical changes. I watched that one burn for a long time. The last one was pink, pink like my Watermelon Slice Athenaum, and that one was for Believing. For believing, through this long school year, from Labor Day when we found this house till right now, tonight when I sit here on my futon in the room I envisioned. The Glee theme is Don’t Stop Believing, and we blasted that song for ten months. I believed, and did all the things I needed to do, and worked hard and tried to deserve it, and I got it. My dream. And a room of my own. The pictures on my vision board. That was my lesson of the year.
I’m still thinking about my Summer Learning, and reflecting on the learning of summers gone by. (Not surprisingly, I am realizing that every summer has had its soundtrack, and I’m marking the epochs that way.) While I appreciate that a lot of my Summer Learning can now be seen as revisionist history, the title coming after the piece was written, I also see the benefit of setting an intention for the one that’s about to begin. Make room for what’s coming, but have something of a game plan.
One thing I want to practice this summer…I want to try to have more faith in myself. I want to have the faith in me that the people who love me have – the ones who send me plants and give me pens and leave comments here and who pick out books for me. Having more faith in myself would make me a better mother, a better director, a better leader, and would help me have more to give.
(And even as I write this, I hear that Vampire Voice that says, put a sock in it, lady. Isn’t just writing about yourself the height of mundane conceit? Die, Vampire. I guess I’m not off to a very good start in the Having Faith department.)
Anyway, Release and Re-awaken. That’s my working title for the summer. Now, to find that theme song…