Here goes nothing. Time to start blogging.
I’m sitting at one of my favorite local coffee shops, delicious tea and steamed milk concoction in hand, with the intention of writing my very first blog entry ever. How wonderfully hipster of me, right? If this is what it means to be a hipster, I’m totally in.
I’m sharing a booth with a stranger; she has a badass pixie haircut and a bleach-stained bandana wrapped snuggly around her head, big hoop earrings pulling at her earlobes and a faded henna tattoo on the back of her right hand. Her laptop is covered in stickers; a bicycle, a record, 91.5 WUFM Tufts Freeform Radio, Planet Surf in Hawaii. An apple and her smart phone sit on the table next to her. She seems pretty awesome.
It is exhilarating (and slightly embarrassing) to know that while I am quietly devouring her every detail, she is sitting across from me, earbuds in, completely unaware that her booth-mate is kind of creepy.
So, this isn’t really my very first blog entry ever. I’ve written a few things for my band’s blog in the past, and the occasional guest entry for friends’ blogs. But this is my first entry of my very first solo blog endeavor. And to be honest, this whole thing is rather intimidating.
Nearly five years ago, I moved back to Massachusetts and since then, my life has been one blessing after another… I found a beautiful, inspiring community of musicians and artists to experience life, art and love with. I made soul-shaking music with my two best friends. I fell in love. I traveled up and down the east coast twice, sharing my art with friends and family. I got lost in an olive grove in Tuscany. I rode on a ridiculous pirate rollercoaster in Ireland. I became an auntie twice over. I learned how to fly in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. I lost count of the stars in the Alaskan sky. I danced a duet with a friend hundreds of miles away thanks to the wonders of modern technology. I learned the simple beauty of handwritten words.
I have lived a truly blessed life.
It is amazing how one big life change can cloud all of that.
Earlier this week, I bought a book of writings by John O’Donahue, an Irish poet, priest, and philosopher. I was first introduced to O’Donahue’s work by my incredible Kripalu Yoga teacher, Jovinna Chan, during my Yoga Teacher Training in July of 2012. Then, in December, after the tragic events at Sandyhook Elementary School, my father shared another one of his poems with me. Though his background is in Christianity, for me, O’Donahue’s words step out from under the umbrella of organized religion and into the wide world of spirituality; they offer up wonderful nuggets of clarity, beautiful, thought-provoking fogginess, and inspiring tools for simple appreciation.
So amidst the clouds that have settled in on my life as of late, to Amazon I went, credit card blazing, in search of anything by John O’Donohue! And thanks to their very sneaky and convincing advertising, I ended up purchasing more than I had intended… I totally fell victim to the whole “Other buyers who bought that book also purchased this awesome thing that you don’t really need, BUT if you buy it with that book you want, you’ll pay more than you would if you bought just one, but less than the two combined" thing. But maybe everything does happen for a reason, because when my smiling package arrived on Thursday, it turned out the second item I purchased was actually a beautiful box filled with 52 little cards, each with its own blessing written on it, taken from the collected works of John O’Donahue.
The following is an excerpt of the introduction to the box of blessings:
“A Call for Blessings: Our culture has little to offer us for our crossings. … Many people are left stranded in a chasm of emptiness and doubt; without rituals to recognize, celebrate, or negotiate the vital thresholds of people’s lives, the key crossings pass by, undistinguished from the mundane, everyday rituals of life. This is where we need to retrieve and reawaken our capacity for blessing. Blessings are able to invoke and awaken every gift the crossing has to offer.”
In this key crossing of my own life, it is time to reawaken my capacity for blessing.
And that’s where this blog comes in.
So here’s the plan: 52 blessings, 52 weeks, 52 pieces of art.
Every Monday I’ll post a blessing for the week.
Every Sunday I’ll share the crazy art creation I come up with inspired by that week’s blessing. It might be a song, a dance, a painting, a piece of writing… I’m leaving the definition of “crazy art creation” completely open.
My hope is that, over the course of the next year, this blog will help me explore the unknown, find beauty in pain and fear, sit comfortably in both darkness and light, make some exciting art, and dive into the fertile void with an open heart.
And it all begins tomorrow!