Life is like a handful of water

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Time is like a handful of water slipping through your fingers. One moment your hand is full, and the next, it’s gone. Fleeting though it is, its touch is familiar, and curiosity gets the better of you. You watch it for awhile, eluding you. Feel it, cool, trickling over your skin. Listen to the tinkling of it dripping into the sink, the pond, the ocean. Only reluctantly do you turn away and return to the task of living.


As you can see, this is a short piece. I’ll probably continue the trend of posting small pieces, short thoughts. I haven’t posted on my blog in months, but I’ve been writing the whole time. The question has been: what to do with it? Post all of it? None of it? What’s “appropriate” for the stage of life I’m in right now? Let it all hang out, be conservative, or somewhere in between? These are the questions I’ve been wrestling with. For now, I’ve concluded that I want to share some of it. For what it’s worth, which may be something, or nothing. Either way is fine with me.

My apologies to those who may have reached out to me in months past that I did not reply to. We’ll see how this goes, and I am planning on replying to comments and reading others’ material and leaving feedback in return.

Best,

Jenna

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A Desperately Imperfect Piece of Writing

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I am alive
and sometimes, being alive sucks.
Being alive means painful feelings,
unhappy endings, stupid decisions,
and days where you just want to curl up in bed and call it quits.

But who ever said being alive felt good?
You know those times when people say
“I feel so alive?”
That’s the adrenaline talking.
And it’s only pumping in their veins
because they took a risk
and are two steps away from either falling flat on their face
or crowing in triumph.

Sometimes being alive means eating ice cream even though it’s bad for you,
or listening to someone because their story moves you
even though you’re exhausted and would much rather climb into bed.

It means days where you think “I can’t do this,”
but somehow you make it through the day
even though you doubted yourself the whole time.

It’s being with people who may drive you crazy
but who are there for you in a heartbeat.

It’s that moment when your heart is breaking
and it hurts to breathe but somehow
you look at the sun and you are broken but okay
that you know you are in the middle of a really good story.

——

I wrote this in five minutes while eating a scoop of ice cream that my rational self told me not to eat but my alive self said stop that car right now and get some ice cream and sit down and breathe.

So I did.

Thanks for reading.

Much love,

Jenna 🌟💞

Love is a safe harbor

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Love is a safe harbor,
a refuge for the grieving,
a shelter for the windworn,
a steadfast tree in a storm.

Too often we think that love should be a whirlwind
of desires long unfulfilled, a reflecting pool
of our deepest, most secret wishes.

Love for me is more a steady beating,
a slow but sure walk home,
a light leading me through fog and dark.

Do not get lost in dreams of not enough.
Listen instead for the familiar greeting
of another weary traveler returning home.

~

I wrote this poem thinking about the most steadfast loves in my life. None of them resemble the dreams my mind shows me of great drama and romance. The greatest loves in my life are truly “safe harbors.” And for this I am grateful. I now challenge myself to be a safe harbor for my own self, as well! For someone reminded me recently that before we can truly love others, we must love and honor ourselves.

What does love resemble in your life?

Peace be with you,

Jenna

 

A Blog of One’s Own

Virginia Woolf famously said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Indeed, many great female writers were blessed with both luxuries. Austen. Dickens. Chopin. But I read an interesting counterpoint (I wish I could remember where I read it): what about women like Phillis Wheatley, who did not even have the luxury of owning her own life, and wrote anyway?

When embracing your creativity, it’s tempting to shut out the world. Believe me, I’ve been there. Caught in the tide of what some call “creative illness,” I’ve spent many days shut away alone, succumbing to the promptings of the Muse. But I reached a point where I didn’t want to exist in a bubble anymore. I wanted connection. I wanted to give back. I wanted to take action in the world according to my own values.

But how to do that without sacrificing my artistic soul?

Women like Phillis Wheatley were, and are, at the opposite end of the spectrum of freedom—they can scarcely call their life their own, much less have money and a private room. Millions of women across the globe live without formal education or economic support. And yet many of these women create.

Perhaps the “room of one’s own” exists not externally, but inside the woman herself. “There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind,” Virginia Woolf also wrote. Maybe she sensed that her private room was merely a reflection of the freedom she possessed within herself. It is the ultimate freedom of thought and feeling that every woman and man on Earth possesses.

It is true that life is easier if your external existence supports your internal–if you have a private space to match your private thoughts. But I have found it best to live in compromise. An introverted and highly sensitive soul, I need a calm, quiet place to rest, recharge, and create. But that isn’t my full time gig. Much of my waking life, I now spend out—out of the house, among people, showing my face. Talking. Interacting. Connecting.

Being out and about gives me tremendous anxiety. I deal with it every single day. But I come home at the end of the day with the kind of elation of a warrior who has just wrestled a grizzly bear. I may have some wounds to nurse, but dammit, I confronted something terrifying, and came out alive. There have been days, months, even years when the bear has swallowed me up and spit me out, and I barely feel up to wrestling her again. But I have a hint for you: Choose your bear carefully. And if you can’t choose your bear, see which choices you do have. Such as starting your very own blog, and creating some space for yourself there.

Peace be with you,

Jenna 🌟