Wandering Shoes


I’m speeding through this town. It’s full of beauty and possibilities and I’m so eager to contribute and collaborate. Next thing I know, I’m sitting on the curb, dazed, muttering in shock, holding one hand to my bleeding forehead and wondering what happened. When did the buzz turn into buzzkill?

Start again.

This time, I pull over before I can cause any damage. This time, I park the car and step away from the car that goes fast, the one where I rev the engines and put the pedal to the metal and blast past the scenery, endangering what may need to take its time crossing.

I tie my shoes. I consider whether to bring the camera, a journal. I am intent on moving slowly through this place, stopping often to look around, smelling the smells, hearing the sounds, looking into people’s faces, trusting my instincts. So I leave everything in the car – the map, the money, the guidebooks, the notebooks.

Generating ideas for projects and income and work and life, feeling the rush that comes with inspiration and hope and a sense of purpose and direction – it’s clarifying and energizing and fabulous and delicious and contagious and a bit addictive. But the euphoria needs to be paired with some solid food. Substance.

Later, I will encounter generous souls who act as if they’d been expecting me any minute, who will feed me just the right amount of soup and bread and wine, give me a place to sleep, sit with me, share conversation and sustenance.

Connections come. The choices and decisions you make without knowing where they will lead always lead you exactly to the moment you needed to meet.

Inspiration: the breath returns. You find yourself in a doorway. A courtyard, a cafe. You find yourself on a blog or in a book or in the bathtub. You look up or you look down or you look inward or skyward and smile slightly. It is this simple. It must be.

Yes, the rush was nice. It was fun. You reveled in the fantasy of what was possible there in the fast car with the top down and the wind in your hair and nothing to stop you. But here, here on your own two feet is where you feel your whole body relax, is where you feel like you could truly do anything.

Yesterday, I was brimming with ideas. Today, I spent some time fleshing them out. As the day wore on, I felt myself coming down from the high, a little headachey, tired.

I ate leftovers and took a bath with my kids. I got in bed with them and snuggled up close, Pearl’s little arms thrown tight around my neck, Aviva’s hand groping for mine under the electric blanket. I allowed myself to sleep with them for a while before coming back downstairs.

The ideas are still here. The excitement, the energy, the possibilities, the huge appetite for all of it. And what I am learning to do is to sit. To get out of the fast car. To walk instead. To trust that there will be food and shelter and companionship and right choices if I move slowly through this place. I hear the language and want to speak it, to talk to everyone I meet, to share everything, to connect and commune and create.

Which is all great – when it’s coming from a place of feeling my feet on the ground. Magic does happen – but there’s no mystery magic schoolbus tour through this place. No secret purpose to discover, no buzzwords to uncover, no age limit or height minimum. There’s just you and me and our wandering shoes, taking our time, finding our way.

Image: Todd Williams Fine Art


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