The reason D and I were up at J’s last Monday when the car crash happened was for a partners’ retreat for our company. Among more pragmatic planning, we wanted to explore how the work we do together can help each of us live the life we want to live.
We started out with a personal visioning exercise, with some questions to explore. I had an urge to do something creative and tactile with it, so we got big pieces of paper and magazines and markers and glue. Then we all sort of did our own “vision boards.” We actually sat in silence for about 45 minutes, each of us working happily on our own stuff.
I did mine by going through magazines and just pulling out pictures that appealed to me in one way or another — that represented something about a feeling or a yearning of some kind. I noticed while I was doing it that I was pulling both pictures of how my life feels now and how I would like it to feel. The “now” ones were pretty chaotic and packed — and when I stepped back, I realized that the “things I would like to have” ones were all about quiet time and about being selective. I used a lot of images like “best of” and “more moments worth framing.” Distillation in some way.
I grabbed at least four images of women alone traveling or taking photos or reading, and kept coming back to the notion of writing a book.
In some ways, what I seemed to be yearning for has echoes of the dreamy side of me when I was a teenager, when I’d go to the tiny wooded area around a creek on the golf course next to our house, read poetry or write and imagine what could be possible from a life. 30 years later and some of the same yearnings. Something about space to be creative, a yearning that’s been with me for so long I’m not even sure any more what I want to be creative about.
I actually did three boards — one of the now, one of the what I want, and a sort of summation. I had found two really comparable images that represented both those spaces.
As I pasted them on the same page, I realized that they really have all the same elements, just organized differently. I want colour and vibrancy and many different pursuits — time with Finch and good work and Uganda and photography and birds and travel and writing — but in a more orderly fashion, in a way that makes me feel like there’s more of a method to the madness.
I’m not sure how to make all of this happen, but it was a bit of a revelation — that I pretty much have everything I need in my life, but want more space to let some ideas emerge. Like the space that D and J and I were able to make before J’s world was disrupted.
Am feeling very grateful for the collaboration and friendship those two and I have built. A rare rare gift that lets me be at my best so often.