Of Sadness & air plants

For the first time, until two minutes ago I forgot what my blog looks like.

I have within the last three months mislaid my detachable keyboard to my Surface, not knowing exactly where it might be, as it isn’t necessary for Netflix binging.

I had to dig my journal out of a box this morning and go on that familiar hunt for pens.

Fortunately I haven’t developed cramps in my fingers in typing thus far, but this all goes some way towards explaining the aching agony of my soul of late to say that I have not invested any time in writing. Writing reminds me that I don’t do it enough and that makes me feel guilty so I don’t bother. My head tells me there’s nothing interesting to say.

ArchesBut dammit I’ve spent the last year moving, from the UK to the East Coast and across the states to the Northwest. And that surely must be tell-able. But it feels like nostalgia and not something that will help in my present, especially on days like yesterday when my five year old bursts into tears at not painting a dog’s mouth the way she wanted it and I know instinctively that this has little to do with the art project. I see the photos of friends we’ve left behind which she has pulled off her cork board to look at and I know she is feeling the same way I do: lonely and sad.

Here’s a story: we downloaded three films for our 6 day drive cross country – Coco, Ferdinand and Inside Out. The first two I’d seen, but not the latter. She would never watch Inside Out to the end, saying that it made her ‘hot’. Only a few weeks ago I realized it’s the story of a little girl whose parents moved across country and she had a hard time emotionally dealing with the sadness. Parenting fail on a grand scale.

So we watched it together in bed yesterday, curled into a blanket. Like a typical 5-year-old she didn’t watch it with great attentiveness all the way through, but I had to leave the room to ‘pee’ for fear that I was going to turn into Sadness in the flesh, on my face on the bedroom floor. And did I tell you (no I didn’t since I forgot about my blog) that I have had one celebrity encounter while in Portland? The one and only voice of Sadness (and also Phyllis from The Office (US)), smiling sweetly at me over a display of shoes at my store.

I knew that this move would be hard, really I did. And it has met every expectation in that regard. I thought it would take a year, and a year it’s been (5 July). But I didn’t really factor in the two-step move we’ve taken on, only just settling in Portland in April, so really that countdown button has been reset and I’m bracing myself that it’ll be next spring before all feels right again. So how do I cope, let alone thrive, in the meantime?

Thinking of rootedness and settling down, it just doesn’t feel like something that can be forced, while hoping that we will move to a new neighborhood instead of The Pearl (which lies just outside of Downtown) and that we will transition as jobs come into place. This brings to mind those air plants that are trendy right now. They don’t require dirt to grow and thrive, though in the wild they do need a substrate and the right conditions of course. Perhaps life right now and indeed over the last year, and maybe even eternally in some ways, for the Schellerts has been lived within a terrarium to protect and nurture us til our roots meet our new home (read communities, neighborhood, contextual identities). In the meantime, I know for certain I need soul watering that keeps me going, and that includes writing as a form of self care.

Til the next post, homies.

Of Sadness & air plants

On orbitting & Ghosts of blog posts past

Outer Banks, Duck, NC
On furlough, enjoying the Outer Banks, Duck, NC

I’ve struggled with getting back onto the blogging wagon here after far too long of a lapse. I’ll make my excuses about depression, writer’s block and a baby turned toddler monster, then let’s move on.

I’ve always blogged as a way to get stuff out of my system. I’ve always enjoyed writing what’s in my brain and on my heart as a way of processing stuff and getting rants off my chest. Looking back, I’ve had this blog for over 5 years now and what a long fraught and exciting road it’s been. Here we go on another turn into 2015.

Having sat down at this cafe on Tottenham Court Road, my coffee already drained dry, I fully intended on spending a few hours writing either creatively, reactively or therapeutically. Whatever comes, comes. I’m very judgmental of what I write before it even comes out which is such a shame. Don’t do that, ever. Just let what your impaired or full or bouncing with joy mind say what it needs to say. There’s always the ‘save as draft’ option.

What I’ve found myself doing over the last couple hours isn’t what I expected. I was curious how long Inked Eskimo had been going so I looked back at its start to January 2009. I’m pretty sure I imported the older posts from my previous platform and that there were more before even that which didn’t make the move somehow. At any rate, what I found was my 32-year-old newlywed self speaking to me deeply. Encouraging and challenging me. Reminding me of what it was like to have existed in a place that was full of hurt, confusion, early burnout and poverty and yet to be so full of hope and faith. It was a time when I could talk about God openly, share my faith as well as my doubts, and know because of what I’ve experienced of the supernatural operating via wonderful and equally struggling friends who had rescued me time and time again, that everything would be okay as God was with me.

Nowadays I view such talk as mindless and dull. Irritating. Yet my younger self was able to knock on my door thanks to what I wrote about miracle rent payments, being dragged out of bed during fits of depression by my wonderful husband (who is the best picture of Jesus I know), small glimpses of colour and grace courtesy of simple crafting projects, and dialogues with socialists near the time of the bend in my political leanings. I’ve been reminded of truths thanks to this blog.

I recently returned from a 3 month furlough back in the states in pursuit of finding my place in this world: USA, UK, vocationally, emotionally. One thing I came up with is that I need to get on with writing myself back home. I’ve always been a writer, though on most days I certainly don’t feel like it. I’d rather catch up on Lost episodes because I’m already like 10 years behind and can’t stand to wait any longer. But what today has shown me is that maybe it’s not always writing ourselves home that matters but seeing what we’ve already done to create a pathway home for ourselves. Or maybe I’m just wandering around in circles. Perhaps that’s it – our lives are orbits, circling something central to truth and hope. Sometimes our orbit is closer to this truth and sometimes it’s further away, a bit like seasons. Our orbits differ in speed, shape and size and that’s perfectly okay. Our orbits will intersect, sometimes leading to explosions, terrific gravitational pull, or just a glimpse of something different and inspiring as we catch the dust of another passing planet.

On orbitting & Ghosts of blog posts past