Thursday, December 13, 2012


The other day I was writing about an experience in my journal, describing how I responded at a family gathering when asked what I've been up to, how I've been spending my time.  I felt that I replied with more confidence than in the past, yet I struggled.  I gave myself a "B-" for my performance.

I was struggling to be true to myself and to explain to some extended family my time spent blogging, photographing, baking, training Charlie.  In the past I would have said, "oh, I don't know, I do this and that and the time before Olivia's school pick-up passes quickly."  I would have laughed and shrugged as a way of saying this conversation is over.

What I wrote in my journal is what I wished I had said:  "I write, I photograph, I bake, I take care of my dogs and Olivia, and through these pursuits I wander through my days trying to find meaning, hoping and striving to make connections."

When I answered my relatives, I wanted to account for the loss.  I wanted to say, have you forgotten it's only been a year and a half?  I needed to say that everything I put out into the world has Aaron in it.

The phrase, "wander through my days" startled me.  I understand it, I know why I do it, and yet it worries me.

It is simply where I am emotionally and have been since Aaron left.  I need a wide open space to explore creatively.  Write, photograph, bake, garden, paper craft.  A little structure is good, too much and I can't think or feel. I actively browse for meaning.

I need, however, to be shaping my finds.  Ever so gently.  Straight lines scare me right now, but I need a few for structure and support.  A few big trees in the meadow to lean my back against and take rest in the shade. Put up support beams in my house.

I tend to let myself wander until I am out of time, and then I look at the to-do list and declare myself a screw-up who needs a rigid schedule. A few weeks of a schedule and I remember how I dislike straight lines, and I break.

Wandering, exploring can be rich, but eventually a path (a curving one) needs to emerge and that's where I find myself presently.  I am going to give Susannah's workbook a try and see if it can provide some of that shaping I seek.  "Shaping" is my word for 2013, as in "yeah, it's really starting to take shape."

I hope that by next December this is how I will answer anyone who asks.


  1. I completely understand that feeling of wandering through your days. I kind of feel that's what I'm doing now myself. It's so difficult to get a foothold back into life again sometimes, to fall back into any kind of rhythm. Sometimes I feel like I've been knocked off the carousel that everyone else is still riding, and I'm figuring out how to jump back on.

    Anyway, not trying to be morose here, just saying I know how you feel and your form of meditation (picturing taking, writing, baking) seems like a perfect way to gently ease back into life.

  2. this post really resonates with me. I'm unfamiliar with your loss, but I do understand your feelings. I struggle with the question too when it's presented at gatherings, and I have no ready answer and I dread that the question is asked at all. I like your musings and strength. wishing you a most joyful holiday season and a healthful new year Clarice. may peace be with you.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...