Some Thoughts About Writing, Living, and the Night Sky

I have a confession to make: This has gotten harder.

This constant reflection, soul searching, and reporting on my daily life is harder. At first it was effortless. For a person who had never been able to keep a journal, I discovered with some astonishment that I actually had a lot to say about my life, that it was actually worthy of comment, and that writing it all down felt good.

But something happened recently – perhaps the doldrums of hot sleepless nights, or maybe it’s the whisper of autumn that has followed. My birthday maybe? Or the sudden calm after the storm of the big summer party? Maybe it’s the fact that my savings are once again dwindling and I am anxious about getting through the winter.

Whatever it is, something inside me got a little unraveled. That’s the best way I can put it. After a nearly a year of diligent stitching, the orderly patterns of projects, work, and documentation that have made up my life at the Ranch so far have started to come apart at the seams.

Weeds grow up in the bee garden I worked so hard to set up this summer. I look at them everyday, spreading chaos over my careful design. I  have been allowing them to overtake me, I feel powerless to stop them. They are parasitic, vampiric, but they don’t realize I am already bone dry. I don’t want to write about it.

Daily I must encounter the unfinished-ness of tasks. The gate to the chicken run, unbuilt, held up by baling string, is an ugly, temporary solution that mocks me and my seeming inability to replace it with permanence. I don’t want to talk about it.

Why have the hens stopped laying? Why won’t the doe go into heat? The tomato plants are withering. The dry landscape aches. There is no momentum, no fertility, no flow. I can’t write about this nothingness.

It was in the midst of this that I looked up at the night sky. I had missed the Perseids weeks before, my favorite late-summer event, in what can only be described as a subconscious confirmation of my blockage. Did I really forget to stay up to watch them, or did I deny myself that showering of energy because I feared what it might do (or not do) to my intransigence?

As I chastised myself for my laziness, a shooting star, just a little bright flash, almost so tiny it could have been dismissed as a wish or a phantom, showed itself to me. Two days later I found myself bathed in a shower of sparks, the effervescence of another person, with a mind full of sweet dreams and flying machines, who showed himself to me.

Let’s build this gate, he said.

Let’s pull these weeds.

This place is alive, he said. I can feel it. Can’t you?

That evening there was a warm brown egg waiting for me in the nest. A blood-red dragonfly hovered over the chapped, yellow earth, and I suddenly found my words again.

11 thoughts on “Some Thoughts About Writing, Living, and the Night Sky

  1. You not only found your words, you found them with great power and eloquence.
    Those of use who have chosen paths the same as or similar to yours do find ourselves dry, discouraged and empty at times.
    I was enriched by your openness and encouraged to hear that your have recovered your energy and vision. Thanks for sharing so honestly. I look forward to much more.

  2. I so know this blahhh feeling. I blame the summer heat, it’s the easiest excuse, and I am too blah to come up with something better. Looking forward to winter’s rest and rejuvenation. Great post!

  3. Sara-
    Keep writing. For selfish reasons, it helps me to read your heartfelt ruminations and to feel myself nodding in recognition at your musings and your moods. Forty years into remodeling my house I still see only what isn’t done in this Winchester mystery house, haunted by the visions of what could be, how this should have been done differently, that piece of misplaced trim or unfinished sheetrock repair from a storm I can’t remember. This is all the landscape that comes with the territory you enter when you decide to “do it yourself”….even if you have friends to help out from time to time. The chickens will lay again, the meteor showers will come back, we are caught in the anvil of summer, like being becalmed on the ocean and there seems no way out. This is a price of living with four distinct seasons…When you are stuck in the heart of the high summer, the dry hot heat of the foothills summer, it sucks a lot out….That first hint of fall will be sooooooo sweet when at last it appears in a breeze working its way up the creek’s drainage, kissing the first hint of golden in the drying oak leaves, and you will smile..

  4. Sara. This was such a beautiful post and really helped me, 3,000 miles away, as I look around at the overgrown weeds that I’ve let grow in my life….”Let’s build this gate. Let’s pull these weeds. This place is alive.” Thank you so much for writing and sharing all you are experiencing.

  5. Wowee–I am a first-timer at your blog here (found you commenting on CAF blog) and I can really relate to this post. I felt the “blah” set in a month or so ago and I berated myself regularly for a lack of motivation to complete even the routine chores (and I don’t even homestead…yet). But last week I too felt the shift in the cosmos and suddenly I sprang into action: writing, cleaning, organizing and projects were all undertaken with renewed gusto and verve! It was almost like a “second Spring!” I think I agree with palominoblue…it had to be a summer heat thing. Smart mammals hide and wait out the brutal heat of summer as much as the deadly cold of winter so why shouldn’t we do the same? Anyway…thank you for sharing yourself with the rest of us; I truly cherish the kinship I feel with you and other creative types who aren’t afraid to share their musings :)

    • Thanks Tam! I agree, it was mostly the heat. Now that it’s cool at night again I can actually sleep and boy does that make a difference in a person’s outlook.

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