Trust 30 – opening the shell, shedding the skin

#Trust30 30-day writing challenge from ralphwaldoemerson.me When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?  Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.


I read this and immediately thought – I have had several moments like this, pictures in my mind that come up reminding me of those moments where I could sense myself coming into something new… ~ getting a one way bus ticket the summer after i graduated from high school, riding a bus down to southern oregon, making friends while hitchhiking, playing in the creek, walking in a park late at night without my contacts on, hand wrapped in someone else’s as he led me through the trees, fully trusting where i was going even if i couldn’t see clearly…

~ driving up a snowy mountain one april, seventeen years ago, leaving my hometown to start over in another, everything in a trailer attached to my truck, scared to death in the blinding snow and, again, just having to trust that i would make it out on the other side okay.

~ a year later, almost to the day, no trailer, driving out of colorado to the sound of ‘leaving las vegas’ by sheryl crow in my ears, saying goodbye to the rockies and heading to seattle.  i had realized that place was just an escape and headed, clearly, to the emerald city to start My Life…

~ paris.  getting off the plane, terrified.  in the shuttle from cdg, terrified.  two weeks later, walking through the ile d’ cite flower market, blissed out, in disbelief that i had to leave this place.  i still need to return.

~ ellwood mesa butterfly preserve, 2005.  i went there frequently through my years in santa barbara, but this moment was special.  daisy and i emerged from the preserve, looking over the bluff at the ocean, me freshly divorced, and she did something i had been dreaming about for the year or so that i’d had her – she played with another dog.  i had relaxed enough in my own life, in where i was headed, to pass that energy along to her, where she didn’t have to protect me as much anymore, and was free to socialize.  for a dog on death row when i got her, with stitches on her ear from fighting with a pit bull?  it brought tears to my eyes.

~ later that year – thanksgiving.  eighty degrees.  cutoffs and a tank top and bare feet.  dog in the back seat.  arm out the window, collecting more freckles.  driving up 101 along the coast near gaviota.  leaving santa barbara for my new life back in my hometown.  knowing i was going to start over in a town that raised me, but a town i had to get to know in a whole different way.  living in my uncle’s attic til i could find a job and buy a house.

~ seven months later, getting the key to my house and crossing the threshold.  sitting in the front yard (then grassy), waiting for deliveries.  dog checking out the property.  it was mine!!!

~ this year, five years later.  finally giving up on the idea that thing would follow a set path and surrendering to the world, letting go of where i thought i should be and going on pure instinct.  every minute of every day right now seems to have music behind it.  i smile a lot.  i allow myself to be myself.  i let him peel back my layers.  i take risks.  i observe.  i ride my bike 🙂

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