I went for a walk late in the afternoon the other day. I’d just been fired by my new writing coach. My projects and whatnot weren’t a good fit for her specialty. I so respected her for taking the work that fulfills her, but I’d already felt how she was helping me get unstuck. Despite my acceptance and understanding, rejection danced lightly on my thoughts. I wasn’t listening to music or a podcast, so my thoughts and questions were pretty free-range.
As I came around a turn which opens to an undistracted view of the bay, I stumbled into a question about what did I specifically want? Could I better clarify my writing goals and how I want to be in relationship with a writing? In the same moment that I was able to imagine how I wanted to pass work back and forth and what I wanted for feedback, my brain retrieved a tiny memory of a Facebook post I had scrolled past weeks ago from a younger friend who’d offered crafts and services to help fund the wedding she was planning. Some magic had just happened. Damn, it was perfect.
These moments always remind me of my dad. When we were young, he’d adamantly tell us that we (and we alone) were responsible for our happiness and for knowing what we want… in a Dad’s commandments sort of way. And then the car story. In my late twenties, I talked about needing a new car because my Cherokee really wasn’t safe anymore and I felt reckless driving in it with a baby. I was so stressed out and secretly hoping he might offer to help, maybe a loan, but he was bent on not ruining our character by giving us money, so instead he helped me take 100% responsibility for finding a miracle safe car that I could afford. He told me to visualize it every detail, so specifically that anyone who walked by my car would call me because they knew it was mine. I hadn’t wanted the advice, but I took it anyway. I wrote out every detail down to the color, mileage, price. And sure as shit, I found a listing in the paper (this was a long time ago) that was exactly what I had written. I loved that ’92 forest green ford explorer for many years.
I’ve both hated and loved this memory for years. He believed I’d manifested the car.
I hadn’t manifested a car. I hadn’t manifested a writing coach. Clarity however is magic enough.