Last night I was on the phone for a long time with my media consultant. I think that's what he calls himself. I think of him as my renaissance guru. This is, Dan is, an amazing friend I've made on twitter, who's enthusiasm for FLOW, for what I'm doing, for how I'm doing it, has been a consistent anchor during the past few turbulent weeks. In fact, before I start writing about what I thought I'd be writing about, I have to acknowledge my amazing support system that's come together online. I've found such joy, empathy, support, from total strangers in a way that I don't have in real life. Sort of sad, while sort of amazing at the same time. For example—FLOW's on sale date. Twitter was buzzing with excitement. And the past few days have been messages from people getting their copies, of reading, sharing, blogging about it all. In real life perhaps 5 people said congratulations. Granted, it was a typical day of running around like mad. Playdates, parent teacher conferences. I got plenty of emails (responses to the one I'd sent out saying FLOW was on sale), but almost no one said a word out loud. So, boundless thanks folks. You all helped keep my head above water.
Back to the story—last night Dan and I were talking about what to do next. He'd sent an email earlier in the day saying I should take a break (take a week away at an all-inclusive resort actually, which I'd LOVE, but can't pull off), to recharge. It was time to let FLOW fly on its own for a bit and get back to normal. The thing is, I don't want to get back to normal. I don't play golf or tennis or bridge or mah johngg. I'm not a cook. My apartment could use a paint job, I'm in the middle of knitting a scarf for my mom's birthday, I could volunteer for picture day. No, wait, that was last week and I missed it. I need more. Time off is almost a punishment for me. I crave thinking, researching, pulling thoughts and ideas together, strategizing. Having something concrete to do. Something that challenges, stretches, forces me to go places that are uncomfortable.
You know, I need to back off from that a bit. I don't crave things that make me uncomfortable. It's more like I'm compelled to put myself into those situations. But from that place of fear comes growth. A personal aside: if only I could do that will skiing and rollerblading. Sigh.
FLOW is actually first in a (still conceptual) series of books that challenges how we think and feel about the natural cycles we live through. And so, perhaps, it's time to dip my toe into the second one. Actually, my feet have been wet for awhile. I've been reading and researching on and off for months. Over 100 questionnaires have already been filled out. People in the field are already excited for this book. This book that's still a vague bunch of somewhat related thoughts with no form or structure.
There are several hard parts. Parts that have kept me frozen to this place of non-action. FLOW was often so horrendous, it's terrifying to think about going back there. Although, now that I know so much more, it shouldn't be as bad. The subject matter is harsh. Often depressing. Inevitable, yet something we all fight against, whether we realize it or not. Ripping off the veils we so artfully construct will be painful. Or perhaps enlightening.
In yoga, we end each class with shavasana. Corpse pose. And in that stillness, there is bliss. So, maybe, this project won't be as dire and dark as I fear.
Ok folks. WRINKLE: the Cultural Story of Aging, is now officially out in the universe. Starting to take shape. I'll keep you posted.
Day 40 is DAY 40!!! What a sense of completeness. I did it. But still have so much to do.