Posted by: scintillatingspeck | October 21, 2012

Something is happening.

Well, obviously, much is happening in the World.  All kinds of mayhem and insanity, for instance.  But I don’t much want to write about that tonight.  If you need to read about the mayhem and insanity out there, I’m sure you can find it.

What I mean to say is, something is happening inside me.

I don’t know how to describe it very well yet.  I think that’s why I started writing this blog post, to discover more words that might adequately express how I feel.  I’m not going to attempt to be polished and coherent.  In fact, this may sound like sheer gibberish to a lot of people.  I’m willing to put it out there anyway.

Although it seems a bit narcissistic to be focusing on myself while there is mayhem and insanity in the world, there is a strong voice within that insists this is absolutely necessary and cannot be delayed any longer.  I trust this intuition.

These days I’m pensive and exceptionally emotional.  A sequence of events in the past few weeks has led to me going straight into existential angst, a flurry of writing, a sense of incredible expansiveness and mad love, and deep into inky pools of grief.  No doubt the psych establishment would claim that I’m having some sort of breakdown, if I would let them anywhere near me, which I won’t.  I don’t see this as a breakdown at all, myself.  It feels like a metamorphosis.

What have I been obsessing about?  Truth.  Love.  Death.   Life.

What is the truth?  Who is willing to tell the truth?  Why are we surrounded by a scaffolding of lies throughout our lives?  I am lucky enough to know some truth-tellers.  How do I know this?  I examine the evidence with my full critical mind and my wide-open heart.  What have I articulated to myself recently?  The truth is so painful it can almost kill you.  The truth can set you on fire: the fire of anger, the fire of passionate love.  The truth can feel like redemption.  I want the courage both to hear the truth fully, and to be a truth-teller myself with every breath.

What is love?  Can it be contained in the conceptual boxes our culture has set aside for it?  I don’t think so.  Not only do I feel overwhelming love for individual people, I’m finding it hard to draw boundaries between those people and all of humanity, or between humanity and all of life– it’s this crazy, expanding, mind-blowing feeling of love.  I feel like I’m on drugs, but I’m not.  I think I probably sound like I’m on drugs.  What is it about this feeling that is so out of the ordinary that I can only liken it to craziness or drugs?  If I focus on a single person at a time, I see entire worlds inside them.  It’s not just idle curiosity– it’s a feeling of falling madly in love.  I AM madly in love.  It’s beautiful and it hurts.

Death and life.  I’m keenly aware of my mortality, Lily’s mortality, and everyone else’s.  It’s in my face these days in a way I can’t escape, but I don’t want to escape it.  I’m amazed and grateful to be alive.  I’m dazzled by each new person that I get to meet, knowing that the chances of such connections are incredibly tiny.  I want to bow at everyone’s feet, honoring their “one wild and precious life,” in the words of poet Mary Oliver.  I’m also in a state of intense grief over anticipated deaths, past deaths, and losses of all stripes.  I welcome this grief, and want to know it like a friend.  It also feels unbearable.  I’ve been crying a lot.

A few nights ago I put henna in my hair in an attempt to make it red.  What I immediately noticed, though, was it just didn’t seem red enough, and the feeling wasn’t just “oh, what novel thing can I do to spark up my life through my hair style” but more like I need to have my hair be red.  Because I feel like my head is on fire.  My whole body is on fire.  Tomorrow I’m planning on going to a hair salon to have it colored deep red.

Something old is sloughing off of me in great sheets.  I’m letting go of a huge amount of stuff: illusions, defenses, dreams.  In fact, I wrote an essay that will be published in a few days on Nature Bats Last that is on the topic of letting go (Updated: the essay is here).

Every hour of every day, lately, has been imbued with a sense of intense urgency for introspection.  Suddenly, many other projects have fallen to the wayside (with the exception of attending to Lily).  I think I’m reassessing my priorities at a deep level, with the clarity that only comes with the knowledge that my days are numbered.  I’ve always been an “intense” person, I suppose, but now I’m even impressing myself with my intensity.  It’s a bit frightening and almost ecstatic.

Thoughts and insights on this are welcome.  (Just don’t tell me to go to therapy.)



  1. You are not along with these feelings. I do think something is going on at a level that is difficult for us to understand right now.

  2. “alone,” not along. Crikeys…

  3. Love you madly, Jen.

    Can’t wait to talk to you about all of this. (Though it seems impossible that a mere phone call could even begin to touch what is going on.) Miss you.

  4. I love this, and it’s speaking to me. Right now I am finding myself in this place where I am just intensely, intensely content with it all. I am so deeply in love with the life I’ve created, and I’m so happy to focus on myself and not on the mayhem or any of that outside world. I know my life is limited, and rather than let the madness that is outside seep in I’m just feeding off the joy that surrounds me. I am happy for the two hours it takes me to put my four children to bed, happily lying with each of them with songs and back scratching. I’m not even thinking about what I’m going to do once they are asleep. I feel crazy. It feels like it will end soon. But I’m so glad for it.
    I love your plan to dye your hair red, and I want to see that hair.

  5. “May the God of Love grant us the wisdom, the will, and the courage to seek everywhere and always after truth, come when it may, and cost what it will.”
    What my pastor opens her sermons with, with the fifth word taking any variation that seems apt.

  6. Beautiful. You are beautiful!

  7. Something old is sloughing off of me in great sheets. I’m letting go of a huge amount of stuff:

    Some of the identifying tags can seem huge when sloughed off: the problem most people face is in recognising them as “not-I”.

  8. Just don’t tell me to go to therapy.

    Actually the best therapist is the Self. But getting there can be a very long and most arduous journey.

  9. […] me into places I never imagined and can hardly describe.  I have changed.  I have changed!  Back in October, I knew that a metamorphosis was coming over me.  I couldn’t predict then how I would feel […]

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