Healing looks like…
… me, with much effort, resolutely awkwardly embracing being ok with taking up space behind the guitar, battling the self-effacing and self-denying fight or flight instinct to hide, make my self small, make the ground yawn and swallow me up, and go about its day, snoring.
I played for the first time in 20 years, and in front of the toughest audience (in my mind, not his) – 88 Kilos of Sunshine: my soul sibling, and South African Eddie Vedder (to limit myself, and his talent, to one metaphor).
I chose this (toughest) audience specifically. I dragged myself, kicking and screaming, fumbling and blushing in front of 88. Because I knew (heart knowing), despite my fears (head knowing), that 88 wants only my happiness, not my illusory prettiness. That 88 sees my Big Lebowski cool-ness, when all I see is uncool. (What Would Abed See?)
I sat there in and with my trembling and clumsy to acknowledge and celebrate the healing act of being courageous enough to fail, to look silly, to look amateurish. To be silly. To be amateurish. To sit there and sit with these discomforts, to learn that I’m-an-imposter-about-to-be-found-out silly-ness is not failure. Not being silly is failure.
Because healing lies in doing what I enjoy and am good at, or suck at, even if I’m not Eddie Vedder or 88 Kilos.
And not even if I am not them, because I am not them. I am me and my talent is as flawlessly flawed; because Heart-Expanding Joy, not Fame, is The Muse.
Because healing lies in…
- the revelling in my many talents, without needing to master them all,
- my thirst to try all things,
- my irrepressible urgency to live, not exist,
- my 4-year old drinking in of every thing around me,
- my coming to terms with life being about exploration, joy, simple pleasures, not destinations,
- and so much more approaching the world full of awe,
- and my own definition of success:
feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and enjoying the fuck out of it, in the moment, without worrying about anyone’s expectations, including my “toughest” gentle-man audience’s expectations, including my own.
Because I am my own toughest audience.
Healing looks like… knowing that, FEELING that and re-remembering that beauty does not require an audience to exist.
Photo by 88 Kilos of Sunshine. Thank you, 88, mfwethu wami, for holding this space, and for, as you manage to do so effortlessly, magnifying the beautiful in the beauty-full moment: for seeing what I do not see and showing it to me – the metaphor and literal-ness in this image of all I was trying and succeeding to do …
… Lilypug soulmate making themselves comfy in my guitar case, spirit-animalling, as Lily always does, a part of myself I struggle to be comfy with.
This beautiful soul lay there, perfectly imperfect in the moment, showing me, without showing off, how easy it is to just be.
And I didn’t see it. Because I wasn’t dancing like no one was watching… yet (fuck the rule about mixing metaphors).
Healing is… Having people like 88 who can see it, until I can.
(And I, too, see the beauty in the beauty-full moment: Photo of 88). Healing is… Trusting that people like 88 feel the same way I feel about them – blessed to have me in their lives. Healing is… mirroring each other’s beauty: