Edit your blog’s title and tagline? Hold on! These could be metaphors (or would they be allegories?) for my life. And while I’m wide open to change and growth, there is core content that won’t change at this point on my journey. So my title and tagline now are what my title and tagline will remain, at least for the foreseeable future.
But on this chilly September evening, I’m reflecting on that tagline, mapping “. . .living, one word at a time” and thinking of a book I’ve just read. Twice. Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby has left me with many connections to explore, many possibilities to consider, many new ideas.
I look for meaning just about everywhere. Trying to locate meaning and sense in my life, in other’s, in the world—these are the essentials that call me to writing. I can roll with a great deal of chaos, but I look for terra firma amidst it all, even if all I can do sometimes is just precarious rock hopping. I aim for balance, but sometimes this propensity for reflection can be a source of discord between my partner and me.
My partner maintains that processing is hard work. She dislikes going inward and would much rather explore her external environment. Usually we can find a compromise somewhere toward the middle, but when we’re polarized it can be a problem. I have to admit that I was stunned to learn, decades ago, that there were some people, including her, who didn’t like to use self-examination or reflection as relationship tools.
Rebecca Solnit gives an artful explanation that brings these ways closer together. She says that, while self-reflection is necessary, “. . .so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles. . .Being able to travel both ways matters. . . [italics mine].”
So there it is. The compromise. Disengaging from an attachment to meaning that may no longer serve. And here I am, on a chilly September evening, still learning, always learning, about mapping my life, one word at a time.
May we always live stories, and tell stories, that serve.