(nablopomo #21) listening to the hungers

graffiti by miss tic: a slender woman standing, one hand behind head, head a bit bowed, next to the words: "Nous qui désirons sans faims"

Nous qui désirons sans faims: we who want without hungers

Good morning good morning — just enough time for a blog freewrite before getting ready for work.

This morning’s nablopomo prompt comes again from Ricki Lake: The Business of Being Born is a passion project that has been fulfilling on many levels. Are you pursuing a passion project?

A passion project. This time right here, this half hour at the computer, this getting up before the dawn breaks over the dark horizon, this is a passion project, isn’t it? Isn’t it necessary to have a deep desire in order to bring the bring the body with you into early morning, into the long call of words?

I would say that just these moments of writing are the places of much of my life’s passion right now. Then, of course, there’s the writing workshops. Those have been a labor of love for the last nine years, the opportunity to be with folks writing gorgeous and difficult story.

Every bit of writing is a passion play, work we do because we adore the moment when words hit the page, when the idea floats through the brain and we can press it down through our fingers into some semblance of living — no one tells us that this is what we have to do. We feel it in our bones, and so we sit down here and find room in our too-busy lives for this practice.

I’m thinking, though, about passion and hunger. What are you passionate about? What are you hungry for?

During the last several months, I’ve been exceptionally good at eating t00 much, too often, so that I’m overly full, so that my throat feels clogged, so that I can’t feel the places in me that are hungry for something entirely other than food (especially other than the terrible food I use for binges — I happen to be prone to safeway white cake and big bags of popcorn): hungry for writing time, hungry to publish, hungry to grow the work that I’m doing with writing ourselves whole, hungry for connection and intimacy (the scariest one), hungry for body work, hungry for embodiment. So much easier to eat than to truly feed my deepest hungers, than to sit with the vulnerability that they require of me, than to open my mouth and armor and let in the change that feeding these longings would bring about.

Well, easier in the sense of familiar and comfortable. Not easier in the sense of ongoing psychic pain. I’ve found, over the course of this life, that it’s possible to stuff and drink down and tv these hungers — the ones that press primarily at the inside of my throat, just below my collar bone, the one that live inside my chest between throat and heartbeat — for only so long. The stuffing (the eating bad food, watching bad tv, reading a book I’ve read a million times, drinking too much red wine) doesn’t make these longings go away — and goodness, don’t I imagine, every time, that my life will be easier if I can make them go away? I don’t know how many times I’ll have to learn this lesson: the hungers remain.  Old coping mechanisms won’t feed them. Listening and offering time and space, that’s what feeds these passions, that’s what eases up the lump in my throat, that’s what allows me to breathe again, to bring my life back to a (new) kind of balance.

Why so much fear? Of course, living into dreams means allowing change to come into my life, means moving out of my comfort zone — means living fully with discomfort, actually: all those voices that want to stop my growth go crazy when I’m stepping toward something I’ve longed for: the who do you think you are voices, the how are you going to make a living voices, the old ones that smell like my stepfather, the newer ones that smell like my dad, the ones that sound like teachers who just want you to make a rational decision.  But these places of longing and hunger aren’t rational. Embodiment, even, isn’t rational — it’s a completely different process, engaged to and with mind but beyond it, as well, beyond logic and 1+1=2.

I’m talking about 1+1=bird: that’s passion.

What’s so scary about following our dreams? What if we reach and can’t get there? What if we try and fail? Yes, that’s part of the terror. What if we reach and make it? Then what? What happens if we have to go on reaching for our dreams, have to go on being accountable for our lives? Whew. Talk about a sea change.

A prompt for today (I’m going to do this one on my commute in to the day job) might involve making a list of the experiences/dreams/goals you (or your character) are hungry for — what are the passions you’re living with, especially the ones you’re ignoring or running from. This list is just for you. Draw it in sand, if you’re afraid of someone else finding it. Type it up on the screen and then erase the words — but let yourself see that list. Then choose one of those items and write — what would it be like if you fed that desire, if you let yourself live into that dream? As much as possible, try not to focus on what you’re afraid of, but what’s possible — still, follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go. 10 minutes today — give yourself 10 minutes for your dreams.

Thanks for the joy and passion that you nurture within others, and that you allow to flourish within yourself. Thanks for your exquisite creativity, in all its manifestations, and thanks for your words.

Comments are closed.