Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Catch a Wave

A few days ago, a friend lamented, "I don't know what I want, I only know that I want something other. Other than the life I'm living, where I'm living, what I'm doing. I want other." Those are the kind of people I love talking to. To me, it means they're "go for launch." About thirteen years ago, I wrote a poem called Vortex. It begins, "I did not expect this washed gray, unawake, emptied nothing." I was going through a horribly stagnant period in my life when I didn't know what I wanted, and it seemed that every time I blinked, I was missing something I was supposed to be seeing. It damned near drove me nuts. So, it was very satisfying to capture that feeling in a poem. However, once I finished writing it and read it over a few times, I thought, "That is the last time I'm going to have this feeling. I hereby refuse to feel that way."

I still didn't know where I was going, or what I wanted. I just knew I wanted other. Somehow I knew that by wanting it, it was there for me to claim. At the time, simply knowing that much was enough. It gave me the fighting attitude of, "I don't care if I fail. Don't care if I go down in flames. I'm not staying stuck. I will die trying if I have to. But no more vortex.... because this feels like death." Truthfully, nothing sucks like a vortex.

So, how does one go from the pulling swirl of The Vortex to riding The Yes Wave? (Thank you, Amy!) It doesn't happen all at once, and if you're a restless soul like I am, it can be frustrating. The hardest part, for me, was fighting myself. I've long since realized that the reason I can't stand complacency in others is because I despise it in myself. You've got to tear down the walls of apathy and replace them with passion. It can be a slow build, but once begun, the process and progress keep moving along almost as if on their own accord. All it takes is finding one thing that really, really jingles your bells.

For me, it was moving. That was the first step out of my vortex. I knew, living just outside of Washington, DC, that it wasn't at all where I wanted to be. I hated it. I knew that I wanted to be somewhere in the Northwest. So, without giving myself a whole lot of time to think, rethink, and talk myself out of it, I gave away most of my stuff, packed up, and lit out. It made all the difference. The forward motion had begun.

You can't change everything all at once. Trying to do so will only serve to drive you crazy. Think about The Yes Wave in terms of surfing. Do surfers stand on the edge of the beach to catch the big one? Of course not. They paddle wayyyyyy out to the waves. Some even take boats out to the really huge waves. Point is, it takes effort on their part to get out to the wave, to stand up, balance, and finally begin the ride. I don't surf, never have, but I've heard tell that it's the finest feeling in the world. To that, I can relate. I know the feeling of riding the wave... The Yes Wave.

Come on out... the water is fine.


  1. gotta say Barb...this card is stupendous. I love the range of colors and the "movement" is very pleasing to the eye.

    Also loving the new blog look...it was difficult for me to read on the black. Like this simple approach!

  2. I feel like I am forever in the starting blocks of a race. Waiting for the gun to go off. Never goes off and I'm still waiting to get to where I want to be. I know what I want but finding the way there is just frustrating.

    I too like the blog's new look. Much easier to read.


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