You can listen to an audio recording of this letter here (11 mins)
I like to think of you as friends. Or at least that we gather here in the spirit of friendship. It makes writing these letters to you more real, more connected for me. In writing to a friend we are writing to a companion on a journey, a fellow seeker, those who have a listening ear and an open heart. A friend is a companion in adventure, and whether close or distant, an acquaintance or even a stranger, to commune in friendship is to turn towards each other and be willing to see the best in each other, even through the rough times.
So, right now, in order to write this, I’m imagining you sitting nearby, as a companion would, tucked in by the fire. I’m sitting on my sheepskin rug, having just made a pot of tea. You’ve brought the dark chocolate and I’ve put some logs on the flames. We are in for the night.
And so, to begin, I’d want to hear what is bringing you alive right now. I’d want to know what’s in your heart, what’s really in your heart- even the anger, even the fear, even the doubt, even the hurt. You’d tell me things that you’ve been holding onto, and in the telling you can sense that you are passing them over to me for a while, and it would make things lighter. Then, when I pass them back to you, without me having said a word, you’d feel that they’ve changed shape. The worries and fears are less complex somehow, better understood.
And then I’d begin by telling you that the blackberries were beyond generous this year, and how it has amazed me, the abundance. I’d show you my inky fingers, still purple from the morning’s pickings, and I’d promise you a jar of jam from the next batch. And then I’d tell you how I hosted my first solo writing retreat this week, and how it was deep, and intense, and challenging for both the writer, and for me. But I’d also explain that there were moments when life’s clarity jumped from the page, and shed new light on everything, and how we were right in the creative process, even the messy bits, and got to a place where the journey ahead for the writing revealed itself as exactly that, a journey. But I’d also say that I felt I could have done better, and I made mistakes. And, you’d probably tell me to be less hard on myself, but I’d explain that I’m glad, in a way, that it was challenging, because now I can really learn to sit into the imperfection, knowing that it too is part of the beauty, and the growth.
Then you’d tell me about your own dreams, and the ideas you are working on, and this ‘thing’ that you just won’t go away. And both of us can sense that the ‘thing’, is a key, and to lean in there.
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