Friday, September 23, 2005


We make choices all the time. Some work out better than others. I realized today that taking the southern route at this time of year may have been a mistake--even if it is the shortest route. It's over 100 degrees the entire way. I've been driving at less than the speed limit, trying to be careful not to strain the engine on my car because it's loaded down so much. In fact, in the morning, I may try to find a place to get the oil changed before I drive any further.

So...on the negative side, it might have been wiser to take a more northern route. On the plus side, even now I have choices to make this still work out.

I haven't gotten as far as I planned today, but that's why I built extra time into the trip. So that I could do what I needed to do and still make it to Austin on time.

Now...for journey notes...

I loved driving with mountains on either side. The majesty of it struck me profoundly. Especialy the flat topped mesas. A part of me wanted so much to be on the top of one, on a vision quest. But I kept driving knowing that I have other paths to walk instead.

I detoured to try to find Arizona tourist information offices and never did find any. But that's okay. I had just hoped for hotel discount coupons but it's not important. I did my sightseeing when I came the other way, east to west, a year and a half ago.

I also want to mention writing. I did promise I would talk about writing in this blog. But it's also because I was listening to Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones on tape. I'd listened to the first half of the set driving from Tucson to San Diego a year and a half ago. Now I listened to the other half. And it reminded me how tied together writing and life are--each impacts the other. There is something wonderfully liberating about being able to write. And life feeds what and how we write.

A couple of my email loops are beginning a BIAW this weekend (Book In A Week--see my website for more information). For those of you who are, I will be cheering you on. I think this is the first one I've hosted where I won't be able to write along with all of you. Remember to recall the joy you felt playing make believe as a child. Free yourself of all worries about "shoulds" and just let the words flow. You can edit later--this is a chance to discover the deepest, truest words inside of you. To find the voice that is yours alone. And don't forget, at the end of the week, to look back and see how and what and when and where you wrote the best.

I believe in fostering joy when we write--just as I believe that no matter what we want to do in life, we are most likely to succeed if we build joy into the process, if we celebrate who we are and what we can do and what our greatest strengths might be.

Well, I'm tired. And I need to be up early if I'm going to get the oil changed in my car before I go any further. So...I'd better look online and make sure I know how to find a place where I can.

Wishing all of you wisdom in the choices you make, but even more faith in yourselves--that the decisions/choices you make will be good enough and that if something does go wrong, you will be able to figure out what to do. I wish you joy in your lives and the ability to laugh every day--no matter what the challenges you might be facing. Joy/laughter gives us strength to go on, to cope with life, to find ways to reach out and help others. And I say that as someone who, for much of my life, didn't know how to find that joy. Joy and laughter are choices that take a leap of faith--faith that we deserve to be happy, that it's okay to celebrate life even when there is something to grieve as well. And we do--each and every one of us.

More tomorrow...