When I began this blog just over a month ago, I had arrived to a point of peace about its direction: not having one. I’m at a place in my life that seemed to make this a natural necessity. Where most sensible souls might board up the windows and head inland before the hurricane made landfall, I very deliberately chose to strip off my clothes, walk nakedly along the violently sky-ripping sea and surrender myself—along with all my thunderous thoughts, my yellow-edged sorrows, my every post-it note of self—to the angry talons of the down-swooping gale. I knew I needed to return to the restorative freedom of my writing and my music; it had begun to wither like an unkempt and drought-stricken garden. And I knew I desperately needed someone to talk to, but I was alone and, at least initially, didn’t totally trust anyone with my turmoil. My family had been such a singularly monumental investment that I had trivialized experiences outside of my own home and had marginalized relationships beyond the very front door I had installed myself. But the divorce I never saw coming was like stumbling headlong into a piranha pond: in so very few miserable moments, all the raw flesh of my every contentment, happiness and identity was bitten through to sinking bone. My spirit was left hovering like a vanishing vapor over the bubble-belching water. But in Windstrewn, that same spirit coalesces and whispers, grits its teeth and raises to a knee. And I look up to a sun moving in behind the breathlessness of the storm, every drive of dying rain like a thousand tears at my feet now drying. It comes to shine on me, I see it. Even now, its warmth brushes away the fallen ash on my heart…
Across my forty years, I’ve been wrong (and have been wronged) aplenty. However, here’s the thing: one cannot be wrong without knowing or, at a minimum, learning right. The scale only exists if we recognize the weights on both sides. In the wrongness of what we do, what we say, what we believe, there’s an enormous—yet sometimes perilously near-invisible—opportunity to turn to the right thing. Hidden there in our mistakes and often consequential chastisement is the wholly emancipating beauty of what is truly worth pursuing. For me personally, I’ve learned so much about good and right things by being abundantly wrong—and wronged. And, for maybe the first time in my life, I’m genuinely at peace with who I’ve become on this side of those lessons. While I hold fast to the textbooks of my pain, I so deeply desire to pencil joy into the margins.
I’m sure I have some unfinished business with screwing up. And I figure I’ll step again over the unfolded edge of that tattered and soda-stained roadmap. Windstrewn is about being just that: windstrewn. But, in the sometimes hurtful, hurricane-riven relocations of life, if I’ve learned just one thing about getting lost, it’s this:
If you can, turn right.