Tuesday, December 21, 2010


So I've decided to open up a lot more on my shop blog. There's a certain amount of 'instead of here' implied there, I think. I don't know. I don't see posting the same thing in both places. That doesn't make sense. But there's still stuff I don't feel safe sharing on my shop blog, so maybe there's still a space for this one. Although frankly my heart hasn't been here for well over a year now.

But then...my heart hasn't been much of anywhere, when it comes to writing, for well over a year now.

I don't know.

In the meantime, I just found Reverb10 and have decided to use it as a guide for reviewing the last year. It's been a hell of a year and no mistake, and I thought that I could maybe use a little help in processing it all.

I wrote a little over 750 words on it today -- answering the first 8 prompts. I kind of wish I'd started at the beginning of the month, though I don't think I was in quite the right place for it then either, so I don't know. But just the little bit I wrote today helped me figure a couple of things out. So here, I'll share it, in all its raw, unedited glory.


1) One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?


It's not quite the right word, but I don't know of a word that encapsulates it all. Deliberately and not. Planned and not. Gentle simplifications, like taking a few shirts I never wear and putting them into the pile to go to the Salvation Army. Painful, traumatic ones like getting dumped and moving from home to Tennessee. I've been stripping away everything but the bare essentials. Paring away the unnecessary. Peeling away everything that doesn't help me be me. Shearing off the things I don't need.

It's kinda sucked.

A lot.

But I'm better for it, in the end. I'm lighter. I'm more focused. I'm...tighter? My things are closer around me (and by 'things' I mostly don't mean _things_) since now I have so few of them that there's space for them all.

Next year at this time? A single word.

I don't know. I want to continue paying down debts. That's a big one; it's a weight. I want to keep working for Dani, cos it's money and also it's _awesome_. I want to keep building Om Shanti Handcrafts. I want to blog more. I want to ...


...there it is. Open. I want to open up. I want to be more _me_, now that I've simplified enough, lightened enough, that I can begin to know who that is.

2) Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

What's been getting in the way of it? All the crap I've shed in the last year. And the depression. And the things-not-being-set-up-right. Cos I got my desk set up, with my desktop on it, and blogs started happening immediately. All of that is dealt with, or at least in the process of being dealt with, and now there's just the 'I don't know what to write', a lot of which is rooted in 'I'm afraid to write', so it's just a matter of continuing to shed the fear.

Which is another thing I simplified away last year -- or began to -- even with all the excitement, I'm less _afraid_.

3) Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

After some thought I've got to go with walking barefoot in the field across the road from Rich and Bri's. It was morning, still turning from cool to warm, dry Colorado breeze caressing, sun warming, grass still cool against my feet. Little scent to the air in the dry, that time of year. But I walked from light to shadow and back and felt the grass change from warm and dry, to cool and damp still with dew, to dry and warm and tickly again as I walked.

It says something, I think, that my clearest one dates back to over six months ago. I need to be in the moment again. I need to live there.

4) Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

By paying attention. By looking, smelling, listening. By being.

5) Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Tim. A future. Hopes. A life. A love. My heart. My plans. Colorado. Mountains. Security.

6) Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

A batch of cafe mocha soap, yesterday. I melted the soap in two turns through the microwave, stirred in the honey halfway through. Measured out the flavouring, spooned in coffee ground until it looked right. Stirred and stirred and stirred, patient. Kept the grounds stirred in instead of settling to the bottom.

You need to pay close attention as it cools -- it'll go from liquid to almost a gel very quickly, and you need to pour it at just the right time. Too soon, and the coffee grounds settle to the bottom. Too late, and it's too think and won't pour right.

I caught it at just the right time. The soap is a beautiful even tan, with the grounds scattered through. I wrapped it up today and it's sitting, waiting to be sold.

7) Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Sohbet House. Waya's family. The local Etsy people. The local SCA people. Just the beginnings of community, with the latter, but it's there.

Twitter (after giving up twice). Hot Glue Media.

I'm still not getting too close to anyone. It'll be a while, I think, before I feel safe doing that again. If I walk alone for a while, though, it's okay. I have plenty of people to walk with for a bit along the way.

8) Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

My relationship with cats. My simplicity. My sense of smell. My slightly compulsive way of making popcorn. My not giving much of a shit what people think.

More tomorrow.

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