I think I was about ten when I got this button that had a fierce tiger on it with the words "undomesticated" written underneath. I've no idea who gave it to me or where I got it...but, I still have it (along with my Farrah Fawcett w/wings button & my Nader/La Duke campaign button--yeah, I know--yuck it up).
Just about everyone who know me would say I'm a "free spirit." My cousin Jennifer told me a long time ago that I was "one of those open-minded type people." Have I always been this way? Good ole' fashion Fear kept my Spirit in check for many years and sometimes still I have to give it a shout. I have believed for over 30 years that my Spirit is unruly. And just about the minute I got a taste of freedom, I shot out like a cannon--risking breathtaking views and inevitable tumbles to the bottom. I don't think this is the same thing as being Bi-Polar...so don't get all analytical on me. I just always thought I'd do amazing things, meet astonishing people, visit unknown places and escape the suburbs.
Here is the rub. I live in the suburbs. I am a good daughter, mother, sister, teacher, friend & wife (most of the time). Despite my penchant for pushing the edge, I often scoot away from it to do what I feel I have to do...not out of resentful obligation, but because I enjoy doing the right thing by others. (in some ways still a goody-goody)
In college I used to call it my Anais Nin/Gandhi split...one part desires unbridled adventure and the other desires sacrifice for the sake of others. Don't feel it the same way now that I'm 40. Frankly, now I just want to figure out how to integrate the wilderness in me without being destructive.
Rumi says, "Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it is enough."
I want out of the burbs. I think I can learn to forgive Nashville for being the place I was plopped when I was 16 with no say one way or another. There are many people and places here that have become part of what I love. I cannot figure out how to get more of the mountains in my life. This really isn't an option. I'm not a religious person...but I need to feel dwarfed by majesty in order to stay humble. It doesn't have to be in Appalachia...but this is where my home is...where my people are...where my Father's ashes run over falls and where I know the names of the trees.
When I wrote every day (for years and years)...my favorite places to write were bars, laundry mats and bowling alleys. All of which involved a drink or three. I don't drink much at all anymore....just isn't enjoyable. I also was single w/no children and a career for over a decade and could pretty much do what I wanted when I wanted. When I was first pregnant w/Riley...I could barely eek out a word here and there and for almost seven years, my words have been few. I blamed it on a loss of freedom, of alone time--and there is much truth to these facts. Motherhood is all-consuming and there isn't a lot of time for reflection.
Weirdly, this back injury (that has taken 10 months of my life so far) has ignited something. I feel like I have a lot to say. When I teach a class, I always feel (at the end) that I'm coming off stage. Pure elation. I pour it all out and b'f I was a teacher...I poured it all out on stage after stage. Not having an outlet has forced me to retreat to my old standby...my own words.
One more quote by Rumi...(that I think has particular resonance with President Obama and anyone else stuck in the confines of thought alone)
"An intellectual doesn't know what the drunk is feeling." So what does the intellectual do? Get naked and run in the rain, get delirious with what is forbidden, stand so close to the waterfall that you get drenched from mist. Now I know Pres. Obama cannot do these things, but I wish for him some moments where he doesn't feel the whole world on his shoulders. It can cause back problems ;)