Monday, September 21, 2009

How Do You Describe a Feeling?

We've been having wonderful, engaging discussions, and one of the things that comes up for me is in trying to describe a feeling. Often these conversations lead to people making up what they think I THINK and FEEL, based on the things I do or say. Often the guesses are off, but I love being with people who aren't afraid to guess or be "wrong"--I do the same myself!

But sometimes we get on the subject of how we feel and I find it a real challenge to describe a FEELING in words...and I have been thinking back to a letter that I wrote a while back in an attempt to convey in words what it FEELS like to be in the life I have:

"I’m a writer. I’ve been writing since the 5th grade; stories, poems, screenplays, you name it. I’ve also read thousands of books in my life. Words are special to me. Arranging letters in a certain order that people then use to bring themselves to deep joy, tears, laughter—what an amazing gift words are! But my words have let me down. No matter how powerful they are, or how articulate I can be at the top of my game, they simply fail when it comes to describing what it feels like to live life in this moment. That feeling is so big, so all-encompassing, so beautifully complex, that even the greatest scribes can really only evoke an approximation of it, never truly describe it. But I’ll do my best because I so deeply want to find a way to convey my gratitude for the life I’ve created for myself with what you have taught me here, walking beside me and coaxing me along our path so many different ways. I’ll do it by describing a moment, that’s the best I can think of.

It was October, 2007, and I was coming in at four in the morning to start work. As we were running out of cities left to contact about the tour, I started to take my breaks early, spending a few minutes walking the employers property. The sunrises at could be spectacular as the sun would peek over the hill by the Main House and set the autumn-hued trees afire.

But one particular morning stood out and there was no sunrise that day. It was gray and cloudy, seemingly nothing special. But it was the perfect canvas on which to paint one beautiful, extraordinary moment. I stood on the Lighthouse path, looking over the pond towards the mountains. The clouds were scudding over me from that direction, a billowing gray. And I just stopped. And listened. And was. The movement of the clouds, the sound of the wind through the leaves, the feel of the grass and stone beneath my feet. It was the song of a contented universe, revealing itself to me. And I closed my eyes, and lifted my face, and opened my arms wide to that song and said a few words, deep in gratitude: “Thank you for my life…..thank you for this moment.” And in that moment, something extraordinary happened. A soft wind came up from behind me. I’m sure I could figure out the physics of how the clouds could be going one direction and the wind could blow the opposite way, but where’s the fun in dissecting….magic. And standing there with my arms open wide, I felt this wonderful sensation that if I just let go and fell backwards, the wind would hold me, that I would never fall. And in that moment, I knew that arms were wrapped around me, a gentle hug from God.

And that’s what it feels like to walk through my life now--at least that's as close as I can get to describing it. Like a sweet….constant….gentle hug from God.

I’ll leave you with snippet of a poem I wrote to my best friend after he passed away when we were 30. I had terrible regret and anger over losing him, but I no longer feel those things, just a deep gratitude for the moments we got to share. I say these words to you now—in a way, you are so much like him, always asking questions, always challenging me to be more:

My dearest friend
Sit beside me in the years to come
And talk to me of love and of life
And grow old with me

So….I thank you….and I love you,


How would you describe what it FEELS like to be you? To be in this moment in your life?

Have a joyous and exciting week! Big love and hugs,


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