Posted by: scintillatingspeck | February 21, 2015


Writing a book is hard and frightening.  At least, writing a first book is.  At least, it is for me.  I have to constantly remind myself: you know, you could have picked an easier way to write a book.  You could have not had it as a Kickstarter reward.  You could have not tied it to the crazy, amazing pilgrimage you took last year.  You could have not made it about the intimate details of your life.  You could have chosen something a little less naked.

But this is me, Jen, we’re talking about, remember?  And this is what I’m realizing: the act of writing this book is an expression of the deep intimacy I’ve always sought.

It’s terrifying.  It’s not surprising to me why people run for the hills, go numb, cower under a blanket, become hardened and aggressive, all in the name of fending off their own vulnerability.  But there is no intimacy without vulnerability.  There is no intimacy without getting naked, literally, metaphorically, or both.

I am having to learn to love my own nakedness.  I could have chosen disdain and self-loathing; in fact, we are encouraged to be relentlessly critical of ourselves in this culture, to conceal our supposed flaws, to hold our bodies, minds, and souls in contempt for being so soft, so slow, so alarmingly lumpy.   What I’m doing, instead, is choosing my real, sensual self, and finding much to love.  Dare I tell you?

This I know: I’ll tell you, because I want to be known.  You can criticize and judge if you want.  I’ll do what I need to do, to practice my nakedness and truth-telling.  I’m writing a book, gestating slowly, shaping a gift, and it won’t have any juice whatsoever if I’m not committed to my own story, my own sense of the truth.  In his song “Playa Girón,” Cuban folksinger Silvio Rodriguez sings, “¿Hasta dónde debemos practicar las verdades?” (How far do we need to go to put truths into practice?)  I can find only one good answer to that: as far as possible, day by day.

What did my nakedness bring me today?  What can I tell myself, truthfully, lovingly, with you as my witness?  Jen.  You are a beautiful, increasingly-feral animal.  All these molds and trappings—you’ve been steadily shedding them, and your fur has grown thicker and shinier.  You’re taking care of yourself, receiving care, and it shows, as your confidence builds.  You’re sexy.  You’re full of love.  Your integrity guides you as implacably as it ever has.  Your priorities and commitments are clearer and clearer.  It doesn’t matter who understands or doesn’t understand.  The insights come.  The words will come, too.  The structure, the time, the necessities, everything will come.  You are whole and strong, enraptured, immersed, surrendered to the sweeping waves that flow over your skin.




  1. I can only imagine how difficult it is to want to make an impression with your first book. Good luck with it and I hope that in time, I’ll be able to have problems like yours when and if I can deliver a first book 🙂

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