Midnight Missive #2: No Mud, No Lotus

12:00 am March 13, 2019, Marrakech


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Good evening, to you, and you, and you, and you, and you—

I hope this midnight finds you feeling a little bit magical. If your month is anything like mine, this midnight might feel a little bit wild, slightly off-kilter.

March has always been mercurial, but this month it seems more so. For example: I have said this sentence to several people, including myself, for all kinds of reasons over the past few days:

“Expectations lead to disappointment.”

Sage wisdom I’ve cribbed from the patron mother of creative authenticity, Anne Lamott. Is anyone feeling me on this right now? Anyone else have expectations that aren’t coming to fruition, or feeling like the phrase “be careful what you wish for” is downright fucking sinister?

As I write, I’m also realizing that March was named after Mars, the Roman god of war, which totally makes sense because March 2019 feels like a very combative month for me. Not so much internal, but external. A month of reckonings. A month of Come To Jesus meetings (that’s a nod to my southern friends) and major arcana shifts (that’s for a my tarot people). I’ve had to work on setting boundaries like a mother and saying tough things and having awful conversations, personally and professionally.

I’m feeling a bit like Odysseys these days. Tired, man.

I just want to get to Ithaca and, like, milk my metaphorical goats. But, first: sirens and sea monsters and Poseidan being a dick, and then when you get home it’s a whole other battle. Obstacles everywhere. You know? Talk about expectations leading to disappointment.

(Can you tell I’m prepping for my upcoming trip to Greece, land of my ancestors?? Fun fact: the Demetrios clan is named after the goddess Demeter, Persephone’s mum, who’s the CEO of the harvest. Maybe that’s why I’m always obsessing about reaping what I sow.)

Mama said there’d be days like this, and it’s why I’m so grateful I’ve got my word of the year. Never before has a word been such a guiding light. I just keep thinking, BLOOM, BLOOM, BLOOM. And when I realize I don’t feel like I’m blooming, then I look into that situation, that moment. Obviously all flowers have a gestation period. And seasons. You don’t just get to be a gorgeous flower all year round.

And this is getting me thinking about seasons. How our creative lives—all of our life—has that ebb and flow, wax and wane. And sometimes it’s about just being with where that season is. Okay, this is a season of major upheaval and how do I make sure my roots are growing and I’m getting the nutrients I need despite the stormy weather?

Each season has its gifts. Spring can give you a bit of whiplash, with the random snow in April or the eighty-degree day in March. Spring keeps your on your toes.

This is a good thing, I'm realizing. The conflict, the re-assessments, the pivoting. All of it makes for great fertilizer. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, No mud, no lotus. We literally need the shit to make the beauty. Great art rarely--if ever--comes out of comfort. And so I'm trying, I really am, to lean into the discomfort. Not to fan the flames of it or allow it to run me, but just to accept this is what's going on right now. I guess I'm letting the moment be my teacher. Each conflict, each disappointment, each scary new twist and turn…all of it is teaching me. And I can feel it, building in me. Work. Good work that will be on the page. But…no mud, no lotus.

So tonight, I'm going to shove on my metaphorical wellies and let it rain.

Sleep tight, camerados.

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