The Light at My Journey's End
Monday, September 11th, 2006,
I spent yesterday looking out the windows of planes. Looking down on a world I could barely see, feel or touch. For the better part of twelve hours I made the trip from Cortes Island, to Seattle, on to Washington, DC, and then home to Burlington, walking into the door of my home at the stroke of midnight.
Today is a celebration of sunlight, bright green colors, and crystal specks glowing off the lake. This is an amazing place to come back to on a day like today. Well actually it's an amazing place to return to almost any day but today especially. This is a day to decompress, to go slow, to look and listen. A day without phone calls or e-mail. A day to be home.
My Hollyhock talk went exceptionally well. In part, it was the group’s willingness to ask the really tough questions that most groups are too polite to ask. In part, I was willing to reflect on these questions and answer from a deeper, less automatic place. Sometimes it is through speaking to others that I seem to hear and discover myself. Sunday's New York Times Magazine has an article about Susan Sontag's diaries, and one entry seems to parallel quite closely my experience about speaking.
Susan Sontag Diaries
31 December, 1958
On Keeping a Journal. Superficial to understand the journal as a receptacle for one’s private, secret thoughts – like a confidante who is deaf, dumb and illiterate. In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.
The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather, in many cases, offers an alternative to it.