I wrote yesterday about not wanting to write. I felt stuck, lost to myself, up against change but unable to grasp it.
What happens when you admit out loud that you feel stuck? Sometimes nothing; sometimes everything.
Yesterday was an everything kind of day.
First I heard from a good friend who had disappeared from my life several years ago. My attempts to reach her had been left hanging in the atmosphere, dissipating gradually from her lack of response. Then suddenly, yesterday, there she was.
Next I asked for help. Help—a challenge for us independent types—help to move forward. In this case I connected with a writing coach. It is a sign of the problem that I am embarrassed to admit I need this help, given that I am busy encouraging others to write. But surely many of us have had the experience of being able to do for others what we cannot do for ourselves.
And then I served homemade chicken soup for dinner.
Believe it or not, I’ve never made chicken soup. Maybe it’s not breaking news, but I find it curious that a Jewish girl goes through life without cooking the most traditional healing elixir. I was toying with the idea the other day (maybe a hint of the change to come?) and saw a free-range whole chicken on sale. I bought it, Googled a recipe, peeled and pared veggies, and threw everything in the pot. Hours later: chicken soup.
Maybe it was the excitement of hearing from my friend, or maybe it was the energy transmitted from the coach, or maybe it was the jump start from writing yesterday’s blog, but the chicken soup felt like the cap to a momentous day. An occasion–the occasion of doing something unexpected, the occasion of breaking out of my ordinary routine.
Suddenly the chicken soup wasn’t just soup but a fusion of past, present, and future: something old (the taste of the boiled vegetables bringing to life my mother’s apron-draped body in my childhood kitchen), something new (my grandmother never added tofu and bok choy), and something right then and there (chicken soup, 2012). It was an aromatic mixture of memory and vision, both a sedative and a stimulant. I sipped soup, felt deep comfort, and wondered, “What else can I create?”
Questions for Reflection: Have you had ever experienced sudden movement after feeling stuck? What happened? What does the story of the chicken soup mean to you? When has an apparently small or ordinary action become symbolic for you?
Writing Prompts: “My best way to get unstuck is to ______” (then keep writing); “When I need help from others I feel ______” (then keep writing); “This blog reminds me of the time when ______” (then keep writing); “I get energized and motivated when I ______” (then keep writing).
Of course I’ll continue to write on my process as the week progresses, but I may not be posting the writing as blogs.
I’m suddenly very busy! I can see scheduling is going to be an art form.