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Wednesday, June 1, 2011: Becoming a Nobody

        I'm in such a non-writing phase. Have lost my enthusiasm when it comes to sending out agent query letters for my first book. Can't get back to working on the second book.  Haven’t worked on the blog for ages, unless it is to occasionally post a photo (and a quote from someone else). Suddenly all my ideas, my stories, my opinions, seem empty and trivial. The type of articles I enthusiastically wrote years ago for the Skeptical Mystic no longer flow. Who am I to add to the literature about psychic and spiritual realities?  I’m in my “nobody” stage.

         So I play with my new camera outdoors. I spend hours organizing and editing photos. I fall in love with the miniscule details of flowers, bugs, and mushrooms outdoors.

        I rework old recipes indoors (a necessity since I’ve developed a new intolerance to gluten and corn). In fact, this particular life adjustment has become a major challenge: wheat has its own consistency that is hard to substitute with non-gluten products; corn or corn byproducts are in every packaged or prepared food including non-gluten products and low–fat dairy products.  And how exactly do you eat out without being a pain-in-the-neck to your host or the restaurant chef?

        But your retirement years should be more productive than this, chides my little self.  What purpose will your life serve?  Shouldn’t you at least write down something meaningful for posterity?  I procrastinate by working in the garden instead.

         Ah, the garden.  When I married R. five years ago and moved into his house, I was horrified that his back yard was a jungle—literally.  My new husband was proud of his “Darwinian garden,”  but---rather than the creation of a Darwinian garden, I saw only a garden “a la Spencer.”  Survival of the fittest.  Left to fend for itself for twenty years the yard was overwhelmed by invasives.

        I spent the first two years removing poison ivy, wild grape vine, oriental bittersweet (the north’s version of Kudzu), wild rose (looks pretty but quickly takes over the rest of the yard), sumac, and the dreaded buckthorn (whose seeds will probably still be sprouting in 2075). Then I began turning the back into a wildflower haven.  A wild patch of nature in the middle of the city.

         A long-term project, I know the garden will always be more organized than if nature took over. It’s still far removed from the formal order of an English garden.  There are pathways of myrtle so I can wander about and remove undesirables, and one winding trail of stepping stones through the center. I avoid putting stones elsewhere, gradually learning the best pathways to avoid plants, aware by doing so it will never be a garden that guests can casually wander through.   

         I question if the garden is becoming an obsession. I spend too much time staring out at the back yard, dropping an indoor project to wander through the garden looking about for invasives that need removal or a new blossom that might be photographed.

        Part of me feels guilty over my use of time. The idea of gardening seems too small a thing, enough to hold my affection but of little consequence to anyone else.

         That is my old self poking and prodding: a family history of being productive, a lifetime of creating to-do lists, an innate need to make a difference.  After all the inner experiences I’ve been given, isn’t it important to share something with the world? Would it be wrong to pull back inside myself, to become a small island, unknown to anyone outside my immediate circle?

         Things are changing inside me. That prospect no longer frightens me into action, no longer affects me as it might have ten years ago.

          Perhaps this is the phase of life where I just need to quit worrying about my contribution to a larger community, about serving a purpose in some grander scheme.  Perhaps I will work harder at becoming a social nobody, content to just be in the universe.

        So if this blog wanders in different directions, please understand. Somewhere---deep inside---I’m still the Skeptical Mystic. I’m just not into giving advice to anyone else right now.

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 06:29AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments2 Comments

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