Waking up

The universe is always speaking to us.  That, I believe.  I’ve written before about the various themes and totems that have emerged at various points in time: bird nests in bare trees, the moon rising in the late-day sky, hearts all over the place.  I also think there is a subconscious message in the quotes and lyrics and poems that come to mind at different moments, as well as in the particular memories we recall.

Right now, what I keep on thinking about, prompted by cues both literal and figurative, is waking up.

I think I am waking up.

Annie Dillard’s line that “we wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery” has pushed itself insistently into my head, over and over again.  It’s running across my thoughts like a banner advertisement lately.

And then I read Katrina Kenison’s beautiful words about waking up, prompted by David Whyte’s poetry.  I was in tears reading her reminder that “…I can wake up.  I can pay attention to the subtle currents of my life, and allow them to carry me in a new direction.  I can feel my feelings, rather than avoid them.  I can be fully present, rather than half here.  I can wake up to the challenges of the journey, the conversation I don’t want to have, my fears about where I’m headed, the truth of who I am, the gifts and and losses of my life as it is.”

Those were the two prompts that established waking up as a theme right now for me, and in their wake it was was Roethke I couldn’t stop hearing: “I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.”  Yes, there is no question I’m taking my waking slow.  It’s been a process of years, hasn’t it?  Slow, with many returns to sleep, but here I am, unequivocally awake, with all the undeniable joys and horrors that that entails.

But I am waking up.  And there’s no going back to sleep.


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9 Comments

  1. Posted July 15, 2013 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I am so happy to be traveling on this journey to waking up with you. And I love Katrina’s words. Will be writing those in my notebook right now- thank you for sharing.

  2. Posted July 15, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The Roethke poem has been a constant in my life. When I start hearing those words in my head, I know that big change is germinating. It has been the soundtrack to the most terrifying (and ultimately profound and most necessary) changes in my life.

  3. Posted July 15, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    This is all so poignant, so beautiful, and so true. I find myself always reading a non-fiction Madeleine L’Engle book. Currently, it’s The Rock that is Higher. Her words always strike like a mallet and hit home and I can only read them slowly. Her themes are always story, it’s importance, and the struggle to be fully awake through life. You always remind me of her words. Thank you, Lindsey!

  4. Posted July 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey, I love that Annie Dillard line — and you, a kindred soul if ever there was one. How grateful I am that we share this journey, this great challenge of a lifetime, to be present even when it would be so much easier not to be. Perhaps we are meant to take our waking slow; perhaps there is no other way. We’re only human, after all. xo

  5. Posted July 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for another lovely post. I’m also a big fan of the Roethke quote!

  6. Posted July 16, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Love this. I know it sounds cheesy, but having a child has really forced (and inspired!) me to “wake up” in ways I didn’t even know I could. I think so often about the small moments of mothering, the patient moments, where there’s nothing that must be done and nowhere we need to go. So why NOT push the button a hundred times? (My kid is really into buttons, naturally 🙂

  7. Posted July 19, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This is so beautiful. I love the concept of waking up to life. When I write about my Hands Free journey, I often write, “My eyes have been opened. And now they have been opened to all that I was missing in my distracted life, I can’t go back to the way it was before.” I think the concept of waking up to life goes hand in hand.

    I love your perspective and insight. What a beautiful writer you are.

  8. Posted July 22, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    This is SO beautiful!!

  9. Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I love this post! I feel that I am also waking up. And it is a process. I am slowly becoming aware of my thoughts and feelings. I’m by nature and avoider. I avoid whatever makes me uncomfortable. But where has that gotten me? Although it has almost become cliche now I have been working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is part of waking up to all that life can offer me.