a season of conscious waiting


images-4“The absolutely wrong thing to attempt when we’ve lost focus is to rush about struggling to pack it all back together again. Rushing is not the thing to do…Sitting and rocking is the thing to do. Patience, peace, and rocking renew ideas. Just holding the idea and the patience to rock it are what some women might call a luxury. Wild Woman says it is a necessity.”


Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from Women Who Run With The Wolves

No matter what holy days each of us celebrates, or not, I imagine that most of us share the experience of the scattering of our attentions as the wheel of the year turns. Days as we design them are dismantled, routines rearrange themselves and there seems to be not a thing in this world we can do to stop it. “You’re always trying to outwit ambush,” a best-beloved friend once said to me, “and it can’t be done.” We can’t get to our rooms, our desks, our pages.

We are not wrong to care about our own pages the way we do. We need them. I don’t mean to say “we” out of turn, but I imagine that our need to do our work is one of the ways in which we are most like-minded. Myself, I started scheming back in July about how to outwit the holidays and keep my regular writing work week. Of course it hasn’t worked. Of course it’s easy to get all fretted up about that. As another friend told me, “The holidays are bigger. They always win.”

But one of the most sane things I learned to do while I had my Gift of Freedom years, was to wait. Conscious waiting is the opposite of getting all fretted up, but it is not the opposite of work—it is a natural and inevitable part of it. It is part of the cycle of the work, which like everything else shapes itself according to the laws of nature. Cycles of increase and decrease, of forward motion and pause, of holding on and letting go—all these come to us and our work, whether we see them in terms of cycle or not. But how much easier they are to embrace and to let go when we know that the wheel brings it all back around.

Those same cycles come to us in our solitary work on the page, and in our community work. As the new year comes in, AROHO is humming in the cocoon, re-imagining and re-shaping itself toward the goal of ever-widening the conversation and amplifying the voices of creative women. We are doing it, as Estes says, with peace, patience, and the kind of rocking that renews ideas.

As your own new year comes in, we hope for you that same kind of peace, patience and rocking.

—Diane Gilliam


Author: A Room of Her Own

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