The Problem with the Elixir

I just went to the creek advisory committee and I remember the following:

I love data.

I love solving a problem.

I love solving a problem with data.


I hate small visions. 

I'm fascinated by small, even petty social power dynamics.

A room that is full of only thoughts and no feelings is like a cage, pressing in from all the walls.

I want to help.

I can't stand limitations, when I can see what's necessary and it isn't happening.  

There are always limitations. I hit them and I leave.

I resolve to do things alone. Like write a book.

I am not writing.

Sometimes I'm not because the problem seems way too big for me to handle. The topic way too big…

Sometimes because what I want to write about seems way too small, disconnected from all that is…

What would Natalie Goldberg say about this? She'd say "just write."

She'd say "Stop watching Entourage. It makes you say "pussy" too much."

Also, today, I was thinking again about initiation and about what has kept me down there for so long.

Why, for all this time, I haven't been finishing my journey.

I'm afraid to return with the elixir.

That's what it's called when the hero has passed through the ordeal and received the gift that comes when she lets her old self die.

As I write this, Edith (Wait-is the critic just the old self who doesn't want to die?) Edith says "maybe you're just fooling yourself. Maybe you haven't passed the ordeal at all."

This is a version of "who do you think you are?" And also of "you are not good enough," which are the two narratives that Brene Brown talks about, she says these of the narratives that same uses to keep a small.

(Uninitiated. Down in the darkness…)

She says this in her amazing TED talk. (Have you watched it yet? If I include the link in every post in this blog, will that help?)

But I only have to pause for a second and look back at my divorce, and the way that was such a profound letting my old self die.. And that coming out of the broom closet to my professional community, and how that was such a profound way of letting my old self die, and the massive deep deep fears that both of those ordeals required me to face, to know that Edith, or the old self or whoever-the-fuck-she-is is wrong.

But to return and say "I have the elixir!" This is not humble. This is not modest. This is not feminine… 

I do though. I have… Well, let's say AN elixir. Mine, the one that I can contribute. Even named it Friday night. The web of relationships. That spider.… ARg. I am holding in my hand but I don't yet have the words to say what it is.

I guess that is the task to bring it back. To have the courage to name it.

No wonder I'm not writing.