It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to put three words together (or three minutes!) in this space, and I have so many things I want to tell you.
About the glorious Oregon woods that are simply on fire with autumn beauty. About the fog that makes those woods glow in the morning. About long scarves and cozy hats.
About my favorite traveling labyrinth that came back to campus to teach me more things last week. About dance class and all the good (and hard) things it is teaching me. About my project that recently launched into the world and then promptly sent me into silent retreat about What Next.
Also: about building a sense of home. Comfort.
About the family stroll down North Mississippi with the lovely Yael and feeling home. About seeing secret backyard hammocks and swings and knowing that comfort and unbelievable fun is hiding there, waiting to be discovered.
These things feel important because autumn is just so tied to me-ness and each of these things has to do with how to be me in the season of Autumn.
A lot of fall-ness is happy and cozy and beautiful. It’s letting go of the suffocating heat and too-much-ness of August (which never ends) and September (which is Oregon’s sneaky second August). Autumn feels like home.
And yet, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my memories of being cold. I hadn’t known this was a thing, but apparently it is. I’ve been a little bit overwhelmed realizing how powerful these memories are, and on days when I forget to get warm (the wrong shirt, the wrong socks, no scarf, forgotten gloves) these cold memories sneak up and make me feel deeply unsafe. I remember feeling alone, in houses that felt unsafe and open to the cold wind. Times in which I was too afraid of money to use the heating oil in more than five-minute spurts. When there was no way to get warm enough, and I spent a lot of time in fight-or-flight mode because of it.
Things that have helped: Havi’s excellent separation exercise. And naming things. And figuring out what my Cold Self needs and then getting plenty of it.
And also, trying not to overload on Figuring Things Out. Because I really don’t know why all these cold memories are so strong and so painful right now. Or why other things feel so confusing and big and tiring. Why parts of my life feel out of alignment and why I feel incapable of doing anything (when I know I *could* be doing things), or why the guilt about all of it is so strong.
These are some of the unknowing selves that walked with me in the labyrinth this week, actually. I wanted to have a calm meditative explorative labyrinth walk, like last time, but instead I just chanted silently in my head as I walked, I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know. And tried not to ask why. Apparently all my unknowing selves just needed to come out that day. And this season. And that’s just where I am right now.
Thank you for reading, as always. I hope you have some autumn beauty (or spring beauty, as the case may be) around you, and exactly as much warmth or comfort as you need. Xo.