This week I write with a message I’ve been holding onto since last week – a message that has been helping me get through it all. That message is about messiness. Last week I had just returned from my mom’s memorial, exhausted. I was struggling to get back onto the East Coast schedule and life in West Virginia with the emotional hangover from my first trip home without Mom and all the travel involved.
As I wondered what’s next with the blouse and textile work in the midst of all this fatigue and messiness I turned (again) to DVDs my friend sent me by the poet David Whyte – What to Remember When Waking. In it David Whyte talks about the dream path and how we have this conception that for other people it is some perfect path – some uber productive set of superdays that involved doing yoga at dawn, eating perfect healthy meals, and churning out always inspired work in a perpetually Instagramable studio space with endless amount of perfect natural light (this is my take on his description). And when we hold this image and examine our surroundings we may think – what in the world are we doing with this messy life, this jet lagged, disorganized, real world that I live in with so so much messiness? What can I do with this?
And then here comes David Whyte and he is saying that jet lagged messy life IS the path. This master poet philosopher that embodies every ounce of the dream and has global reach with his words is saying – Yoo-hoo Reid – over here. This is the path. This is the real stuff. – Which has somehow been endlessly helpful the last few weeks. It can be scary, anxiety provoking, frustrating and even exhausting to believe that when you are in the messy place of making sense of your world through creativity, alongside the business of living this wild, unpredictable life that you aren’t making any progress on your dream because people who are “succeeding” are doing so because they are living an altogether more perfect version of the life you are living.
It is deflating because it is so unachievable. So along comes this prolific, extremely influential poet who is saying – no. Some days your dream path, your creative path to the unknown is walking down that ugly gray corridor in the airport – jet-lagged. It has nothing at all to do with pristine studios and the perfect schedule and the fantasy of endless energy and inspiration. No this dream is taking place in bed where I am drafting out a treasured lesson in my journal because I don’t feel that well and I don’t know if it is because of a weird bug or what but that is the reality of the messiness of my path today. And yes it is indeed the path of my dreams. And holding these two things to be true: that my life is messy and I am on my dream path is lifting me up here. It is taking me from a place of – oh no – I hope I’m not sick – I want (need!) to badly get my life back to normal and get to a place of glorious creative productivity – to – this is my reality. This is what is going on for me so let’s work from here – from this place and share it with the hope that it can help someone else who is struggling with the messiness of life.
Well here we are sitting in the messiness together – going after it. We are living the dream. It just looks different than we imagined.
Go, fight, win.