A late letter this week, coming off the heels of a conference weekend in Chicago, and the most nerve-racking talk I’ve ever had to prepare and give. It went unexpectedly well, and I’ll tell you more about it next week, after I’ve posted the talk online, but I’ll say for now that that word – nerve-racking – and its visual of my insides being pulled and twisted and stretched across a wooden frame, jumps out at me as appropriate.
I took the above photo on the way in, and wrote the following in my notebook on the way back:
Flying into DTW at golden hour. Downtown visible on the horizon. Seated behind a friend and colleague, after major emotional leaps.
The feeling of new passages, of new work beginning.
Part of that new work is old work I’ve been neglecting. I’m writing this from a Taco Bell; the car’s in the shop nearby for maintenance. (And need I remind you – and myself – of the virtues of maintenance?) I’ll pick up milk and dog food on my way back, take Matisse to the vet later this week, and hopefully wrap up tile work at the house.
The other part is that endings, of course, are also beginnings. (I should have learned this by now but it always catches me by surprise.) When manuscripts are done, books are just starting; talks are merely the first words of longer conversations.
Maybe it’s wise to slow down for a moment here, dwell in the in-between. I think I tend not to, for fear of losing momentum. But I’m picturing a ball cresting the top of a hill: I know there’s enough motion to carry me over, might as well relax for this part, and take in the view.
It’s a cold, rainy day in Michigan. I can feel the humidity in my bones. My favorite sauna spot is just a couple miles away. I know where I’m headed.