Last week I wrote to a man I met on a journalistic exchange trip to Cuba in the millennial year. We stayed fast friends. I wrote him because I contributed to a book he was editing and there was a back and forth about publicity and what I could do to help. I basically blurted out that I was a loser and couldn’t even help myself. In the cinematic version, I am screaming, Leave me, save yourself, I’m a goner!
But in life it was a rambling email. Oh so much less dramatic.
His response was wonderful.
Don’t trust anything you say about yourself now. Sixty is an extreme… EXTREME transition. We are in an economic depression. Yes, get rid of recession ideas. This is an international depression and fringe money days are not coming back. You will hold on to your home. You always have.
Don’t trust any inner voice that calls you a loser. Au contraire, track it down and create a ritual to destroy it. Create a simple ritual because you will have to destroy it over and over again.
And so today as I rode my bike, sorry but the walking thing, with no wind, in top ninety-degree heat is off the table; even my walking guru is on strike. So I was on two wheels heading to workout, and I tried on a version of a ritual phrase and imagery designed to banish my inner loser voice.
I am a shimmering, glimmering person who will find work and safe happiness because my light wins the day.
And As I say this I want to conjure the image of the fireflies silhouetted in the tall dark trees, with the bowl of stars overhead punctuated by the meteors shooting across the July 4th night. I am lying in the hammock with my grown daughter on her last weekend in the country and in fact in this country for a long, long time.
OK maybe I should take out the last part about WIlli heading off to Europe for grad school as part of the meditation as it makes me a little. She can just be there, her heat as a counterpoint to the radically cool night air. Why not? It is after all my meditation to banish negative thoughts.
I will try this.