Tidal Basin

Germination Detail Part III, by Leslie Shellow

contemplations about what stays in the net

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Where Have I Been?

To be sure, my blog falls in the "much neglected" category, as if that's necessary territory for bloggers to traverse at some point; which begs the question, what is happening with the blogger when the blog is sleeping? In my case, I've been going through the most delightful mid-life crisis. It's not been easy, nor pain-free (in other words, no red hot Miata and I haven't dyed my hair, yet.) I am recovering under my covers from rotator cuff surgery.

I did not know how many small ligaments and tendons and muscles and pieces of connective tissue (sinew?) keep the shoulder stable when performing tiny actions such as moving a pen or typing a sentence. Because I was unable to teach yoga or anything for that matter and I was unable to write, I spent the first eight weeks be-ing with the pain. And in that time, I started to shed. I found out that by be-ing, I was helping myself, and that was enough. Then, I let go of teaching, let go of moving back to Brooklyn, of having my own place, of doing my yoga practice. The only things that remained were walking Gabriel, meditating, and writing -- but not on paper or on a screen -- just words spoken in my head by my characters.

And now, twelve weeks out, I am revising my manuscript and going to physical therapy. Each time I go, my dear therapist yanks and stretches and pulls and tears (yes, tears) all those stubborn adhesions, and each time I lay there, I thank the universe for this time. I was not listening. I am now. My book is shifting, as it has so many times over the years. My story is growing; it's getting thicker and more layered inside. I may have even seen a ghost between the pages.

After I am cooked, well done and seasoned, I will continue to move in the direction of my deepest desires. I will write, I will teach yoga, I will continue to meditate, I will love my dog and he will love me, I will spend time with my family, I will fall in love, and I will send this novel out into the universe. I imagine it lit from beneath like a Thai lantern, floating into the sky until it becomes part of a larger set of lights.

It has taken me forty-three years to stop and turn around, look into my own eyes and listen. Right on schedule.