Multiflora Rose
Letters,  Observations,  Personal Notes

Writing to Connect

Dear Friends,

I miss writing to you all. I miss connecting. I know we have lots of video chat options but it’s not the same as seeing my friends in real life. I thought I would wait and write when I had something useful to say but I don’t think anyone has very much of use to say. I could be wrong. I probably am.

I am writing this with a dictation app while sitting outside looking at trees and taking comfort in them. There’s one with a vine that grows all the way up the trunk in a perfect spiral to the top like a tree in a Dr. Seuss book.

I was thinking earlier about the difference between seeing things and not really seeing them. I was lost in thought, moping around the house feeling sorry for myself so I stepped outside and looked forlornly into the backyard when my eyes tripped over a thorn bush whose leaves were waving in the wind so that their pale green undersides showed like soft kitten bellies. It struck me that something so sharp and horrible could also seem so bright and soft. I hate these thorn bushes and have a grudge against them because my neighbor insists that they are not berry bushes, and my father-in-law insists that they are, and I guess my real grudge is not about the bushes. I can’t bring myself to cut them back in the hopes that they bear fruit. To my other side is a tree so overgrown with vines that I’m not sure any of the green on it is its own. I imagine one day the tree at the center will die, and only the vines will be left. I wonder if it will fall or if the vines will have formed so tightly as to stand on their own even around a rotten core. I feel self-conscious talking about the trees like this even in their midst but I don’t think I’m saying anything they don’t already know.

One of the reasons I haven’t written much lately is that I’ve often started a piece of writing only to come back around to the same question– yeah but what’s your point? It’s a really unfair question I think because my only point is to connect. Not even with a particular message. Just to not be alone, you know? I know it may seem funny that I feel less alone when writing a letter into the void but it’s not a letter into the void at all. It’s a letter to all of you. And I didn’t want to just make a Facebook status update because, well … because. And though I know this blog may not have all the allure of a manipulatively designed social media website for profit, it is my home and the place I feel most able to speak freely and directly.

The other day, during another round of moping and self-reflection I felt prompted to suddenly forgive everyone that I’ve ever held a grudge against. I just don’t have it in me anymore. And maybe in some cases I was wronged… maybe even a lot of cases, but I don’t have the energy to carry that around anymore. It’s a luxury of energy to hate someone for stupid reasons. I’m too tired to stay mad at people who don’t even remember what I’m mad about. And I’m also too tired to continue pretending to remember those things myself. Let’s be real: I forgot the details of the incidents ages ago in the emotional blur immediately following whatever perceived wrong I’ve been holding on to all these years. Anyway I’m over it. I’m done with that. Moving on.

I have things I want to share with you. I made this playlist that’s been my soundtrack for the past month. It’s called Songs to Get You Through. All the songs have a certain amount of empathy and passion to them. Several of them feel prayerful to me. Some of them are full of grief. They’re honest, brave songs. They’re songs for dancing, hoping, working out, meditating, and comforting. They’re loving songs if not actual love songs. They’re also songs of strength and solidarity. They’re about knowing your own power, looking out for your neighbor, and getting through it together. They’re also about self acceptance, knowing your limits, and preserving your own goodness in the midst of hardship. Basically these songs are all the things I hope you have. So I really hope that you’ll play this while you’re cooking or cleaning or dancing in your living room and channel your best self. I hope when you listen to this you feel confident, strong, loved, and at peace. I hope you remember how strong you are. I hope you know this is temporary.

And I hope you know I love you. Because if you’re here reading this, it’s probably because we’re friends or only a few steps away from it, and that means maybe we share one or two ideas about life, which is a nice thought for me somehow. And I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that you’re a good person who’s really doing their best. Doing our best is hard work even in good times, and this … this is not a good time. But I see you. You’re trying. And it counts. And you’re getting stronger. Sure, you may have to rest, but you do get up and start trying again, and you come back stronger every time. That’s the nature of things. Try. Fail. Rest. Learn. Try again. That’s the basic pattern for pretty much everything, so just keep taking one step at a time, and we will get through this.

I love you all. Be well. Be safe. Be kind.

Mary

P.S.

Maybe it’s just the pandemic talking, but I started a Patreon. I have a lot of content I’ve been wanting to share for a while and I think it’s time so… Check it out if you wanna.