“Inside every one of us is a garden, and every practitioner has to go back to their garden and take care of it. Maybe in the past, you left it untended for a long time. You should know exactly what is going on in your own garden, and try to put everything in order. Restore the beauty; restore the harmony in your garden. If it is well tended, many people will enjoy your garden.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh, Taming the Tiger Within
My “garden” has been rather neglected, often given no more than enough attention to get by, never nurtured as it should have been. Survive, rather than thrive, seems to be the theme of my life so far. It’s not a very organised or orderly place; still has lots of nooks and crannies that promise interesting – perhaps even frightening – explorations. So when I read this passage the other day, it seemed the perfect thought to start a new blog with.
So . . . welcome to my garden. This, the main page, is going to be uncharacteristically random, at least at first. I need to explore before I can order, I think. The other parts of the blog – my writing, my photography, my life as a person with chronic illness – will no doubt drift into this main page from time to time, but then, a completely orderly garden is no fun.
I may include a bit of information, a few random facts about myself each time I post. As much to take stock as anything else: introduction and exploration, for me and anyone who reads it. I’ve often been told I should write a book about my life – did I mention it’s been a bit . . . different? – and I always reply, “I don’t know how it’s going to end!” The truth is, I’ve never been able to figure out where to start – but here goes.
I’m fifty-six years old, in people years. Emotionally, in my head, more like eighteen, twenty tops. It always amazes me when I look in a mirror and see a middle-aged woman instead of the kid I feel like inside. What do you call a female Peter Pan?
Single, no children (a storeyline all its own, that), and four cats: Max, Lucy, Jacob, and Simone. I cringe at the thought of being considered a “cat lady” but I suppose I am. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
I was a nun, once upon a time. Yes—a real, habit-wearing, given a new name, orthodox Roman Catholic nun, and passionately committed to it. Another storyline, another life. Now, I’m not sure I believe in anything at all. We’ll see.
There’s a weed or two pulled, a bit of space cleared. Not much, but a beginning. I’m always frustrated with beginnings – they never seem enough, and patience has never been my strong suit. But . . . a start has been made. I must remember that’s important, too.