I sleep with my baby blanket, which is now tattered and worn. His name is Quiltie. He is a he, and I love him because he understands me and because he has a soul.
Sometimes I get insecure about having so many tattoos. When people meet me and stare at them in this certain way, I want to run away. I become nervous that they're deciding things about me based on what they see. I want them to decide things about me based on what they know.
I often truly believe that every question I raise and every crisis of faith I experience would be immediately answered and eased if I lived within walking distance of the ocean. I often think that this is ridiculous, and then simultaneously think that it might be the truest thing I've ever thought.
The dams to my soul-truths are getting washed away more and more every day - I can't keep things inside very well anymore. The other day, after listening to the story about Giulietta Carrelli's Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club on This American Life (click here to listen - if I could force you to listen, I would - it's that necessary, this story), I wrote Giulietta this note:
I can't stop listening to your voice on This American Life. I just keep listening, over and over, bathing in the fucking perfection of you. Thank you for existing. My brain exploded when I first heard you, and I knew in an instant that I loved you.
I know this seems creepy but I promise it's not. You helped me focus in on everything I'm trying to do that seems like it matters to me. So thank you.
I worried a little bit after sending it and then stopped worrying because fuck it. She should know. Her response:
Your very welcome Emily . Remember to never give up and always reach out.
Reaching in is good. It's healthy a lot of the time, reaching into ourselves to dig around a bit and see what we pull out.
But it's the reaching out - the connecting, the tying strings to each other so we can find our way home when we're getting lost in the dark - that's the shit that saves us.
This is why I'm starting the Shindig. Because it's not enough for us to want things to be different, to quietly crave the connection - we need to have the sometimes-scary moment of inviting people into our quirky space. We need to offer glimpses, yes, but really? We need to throw the covers off and windows up. We need to be bold about our hopes and bawdy about our desires. We need to be unabashed. We need to show up with our tattoos out, coconuts in hand.
The first Shindig Intensive is October 11-12, right here in Western MA. The cost is $385, which includes meals on Saturday and Sunday, as well as a cozy spot to sleep on Saturday night. There will also be lots of notebooks and pens and office-y/craft-y things for you to have. Loads of details to come, of course. But I wanted to get this swirling in your mind, and needed to make this baby real. And so She is. Registration will open soon.
Also, because Facebook is making it so hard for us to stay in regular contact now, I'd really like to start utilizing this here site as our primary source of communication; I want us to be in charge of our relationship. This means that if you want regular updates about new posts or about the Shindig, you gotta sign up below, or in the sidebar to the right, or on the Shindig page - there are loads of places to choose from.
And do go ahead and share this with anyone and everyone - let's weave a web of strings.
Love you so,