If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders.
This morning when I was supposed to be meditating, my mind started to wander. I started thinking about the jar of Obi and Dexter’s ashes on my shrine, then about the unfinished story I started in a Creative Writing class at Western Oregon University — “Ashes to Ashes,” about a young woman returning her father’s ashes to his hometown in Alaska, a place she’d never been, where she meets family she never knew she had. I thought as I wasn’t meditating about working on that story again, and flashed to meeting with my new therapist this week (yes, I have a new therapist), thinking maybe I might tell her that I’ve always wanted a particular life (as a writer), that I don’t have it and feel like I never will — and as I thought that instead of meditating, I started to cry.
In Wild Writing, when someone can’t read something they wrote without crying, we say it’s because it’s the truth. When you cut that close to the bone, it can surprise you, and the only possible response to that tenderness is tears, emotion that rises up before you are able to catch it, cut it off. That’s how you know for sure it’s the truth, and that you should consider giving that realization some attention.
And so today, I’m giving that truth some attention — that I know exactly the life I want, that I don’t currently have it, and the fear that I never will makes me deeply sad.