Letter to Self

Dear Nancy,

What can I tell you that, deep inside, you already know? The world is a rough place. Find the beauty. It is what will save you. The fear you feel at the publication of a new book is totally normal. The shutting down you’re feeling probably has to to do with the same sort of out-of-control feeling you had as a child, that feeling that your space is not your own.

Above all, you value your own space. You don’t stuff a bunch of junk between your ears and you never have. The fact is you’re probably a little traumatized right now because of He Who Shall Not Be Named. Whenever you’ve encountered a man like that you found a way to leave. But he’s everywhere. And his minions are everywhere too. And they’re angry. They’re angry at you for being a woman. They’re angry at our president for being black, and a Democrat. They’re angry at people of color. They think they’ve been screwed, and maybe some of them have, but not by the people they’re angry at. But they need someone to blame, and He Who Shall Not Be Named loves to whip them into a frenzy and they feel empowered by their hate. Honestly, this is a movie you’d walk out on, gladly losing your $8.00 and throwing your bag of chemical popcorn in the trash just to leave. But this movie keeps on running, and running, and running.

So there’s that, and even if you could ignore it all, the energy would still be there. This dark cloud that’s been spewed into the atmosphere.

But you must take care of yourself, dear. You must do it in all the ways you have done it before. Find that beauty. Go outside. Get alone with yourself. Write in your journal. Read a good book. Listen to the waters, and the sky, and the birds, and the trees.  Believe in something larger than this madness. And so often the large thing you must believe in is in the small things. Listen to the snail if he will talk to you, and he will if you will listen.

Don’t cry, sweetie. It will be all right. The world is both fragile and tough. The dragon beasts are being slayed, but they have to breathe out their vitriolic fire before they go down. Think of it as a death rattle. Turn it into patterns in your mind. The rise and fall of a shit storm. Wish those people love and light, even though they wish nothing of the sort for you or your friends or your community. Rise above.

Give thanks – my home, my husband, my friends, having food, writing, my work, my community, the river. There are those who do not have all that you have. Pray for them.

Be kind – I can do that. Be thankful that you can for there are those who cannot be kind as often as you are. They’ve misplaced that skill, or it’s been taken from them in some sort of way. Pray for them too.

Do your work – Doing it. Pray for yourself as well.

Love, Your Better Self

aka Nancy

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