The last time I went on vacation I drove 45 minutes up the coast highway and landed in a cheap boarding house I’d booked the night before on a 3rd party finder.
Room cheap like the plastic blinds had runners missing in halves and a busted fridge that smelt like hot breath cheap, and a bedspread worn so thin in spots it was missing its original color. The kind of cheap that makes you compromise your self bc it’s spendy bc it was the high season, tourists everywhere and I still got to be a block from the beach.
I’d had the time off to go to Brasil, to see my on-off lover who’s been back there where he’s from since he got deported in 2015. We humans are frail and strong all at once often in the same parts, so because of how our weaknesses have to defend our strengths sometimes basically we cancelled our plans. I used the money I was going to use to see him on a boarding house in a spendy beach town and meals and meals of delicious foods. I also bought a new desk.
I am a business owner and I am the exec. Everything I have, which materially beyond the business is very little, I have built by my own two hands. I am led by one single force, my ever maddening poet heart.
At various times over the last several months my desk has been piled with stacks of unopened mail. Folded or dirty clothing. Books and games, candles, art supplies, toiletries. It’s been a catch-all for “work stuff.” Sometimes though it has surprised me. It actually, like today, gets a golden glow around it, a beckoning shine that centralizes my soul. Today, there was no denying the magnetic reminder:
Make space, clear room. Begin here.
Only you, and clear white screen.
When I sat down to put these words together, to make something out of the space ahead of me in a part conscious part fluid way, I hear the rubble in the drive which tells me my roommate is home already from his very early morning errand. It puts me immediately back in Laguna Beach, back at my desk beneath the window that looked out on the dusty white sun of the canyon. The realization comes to me in bits.
The life that was mine, only mine. Handmade. As a woman, the necessary need, the room of my own. I could go on about this, as she who’s life is lived by it as primary source. The solitude, my space no bigger than a 6 foot by 12 foot room. All mine, only mine. The rhythms of creativity, the fervent buoyancy and the emptiness, the isolation, the contentedness. The longing, the sweet happiness. The peace and sleepy dreaminess of every day only ever my own. The T i M E. The loneliness that came with this, too.
I have spent a total of two and a half years of my life living on the road. Planless. People rarely understand the impulse, usually they fill the lac of knowing with their own projections of fear and judgment and small-sighted you should be’s. I will be the first to admit that I did the same to myself. Criticized myself for my inability to settle down, drove myself with a hardline rigidity to just get honest already about what it is that’s making you feel like you always have to run. In Laguna though I realized I was never running away, I wasn’t even running to.
I was running with.
I bought this desk to get back to me, my own rhythms. The rhythms of my own sacred insides that, when put on page so I can see, always lead me because they’re connected to a bigness bigger than just t h i s. Then just the words. Since the time of the desk, I am learning how to do so with out also needing to being alone…a need that used to create such a frenzy in me that it translated as anger, hot with rage and eventual self-deceit.
That was the hardest part to see.
If you don’t know or understand what this means, I suggest time to yourself, and yes, feet moved by the motion of stillness only found by movement on the road. This week marks my second vacation in under a year that I will take by just cruising 45 minutes or so along the coast.
It is a new kind of running in place that I am grateful I took the time out today to name.