What Now?

15. What Now? Life Out Here

Honor your reality this summer. Go at your own pace. I'll do the same. Until September, Happy Summer!

In spite of the rain, the sun will burn above the clouds from 4:18am to 11:43pm today, and in its brief absence dull, sleepless twilight will illuminate the canyon, seep through the curtains, keep me awake later than I mean to be.

It’s happened like that a lot since March when Anchorage saw equal hours of dark and light. Now, after dinner, when sunlight still glows on the lawn and songbirds sing, no one thinks to take a bath and read bedtime stories. You think you can go on forever after the kids finally sleep, washing dishes, scrolling through Facebook, crocheting something cozy for colder days.

And afternoon breezes cooled by high-country snow remind us that summer is never so long as its daylight hours.

Today, though I will stay up for hours watching the longest sunset of the year, I am finally putting to bed a question that’s robbed me of as much rest as this season of light. What now?

I mean this in the creative sense.

You might know me by now. You might know my consistency comes and goes like good weather, and that sometimes I’m a raging river of ideas; other days, I’m iced-over. And learning to podcast in-step with blogging feels like cutting new riverbeds out of solid rock.

Yes, by now you might know I’m clumsily living per the advice of Rainer Maria Rilke.

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Writing my way into an unveiled answer is not in keeping with my personality. But there is a thrilling weightlessness in living one day at a time with what you’ve got now. What I’ve got now is a semblance of direction. An answer to the question, “what now?”

It’s got me feeling alive again.

A lot has happened this spring. I’ve got stories stacked up to the ceiling, many of which will slip through the cracks as bountiful, bustling summer hypnotizes me with my eyes wide open, distracting me from the page. Carrying unshared stories around is as draining as sharing them. It gets heavy. I get overwhelmed. I go quiet.

You know the pattern.

In my first podcast, I classically declared now broken promises meant to safeguard my creative heart and respect your loyalty. Back at the start, a bi-monthly blog-cast felt right. Doable, even. But, as it turns out, not quite right for me.

I told you in that first broadcast I tend to operate in seasons. If this is true of the myriad of my life, it must be true of my creative life. So, instead of forcing myself to shoot for weekly or even bi-monthly episodes, I think I’ll broadcast in seasons.

I think I’ll live my life this summer. Take notes. Write down my stories. Then, share them with you, one Monday at a time, when pumpkin spice is all the rage and Halloween decorations color the storefronts.

And because I cannot bear the idea of utter silence for an entire summer, I think I’ll muse each Monday. Just like I used to. Here on WordPress and now on Instagram (because the hope*writers Instagram Challenge showed me you appreciate pretty pictures and micro-muses about all kinds of things).

“Muse Mondays” almost year-round; “The Life Out Here Podcast” every fall and spring.

Are you skeptical? You should be. But go ahead and check your inbox next Monday for an unread muse from Life Out Here. Then, double-check your podcast library to verify episode fifteen is the finale of season one.

If summer also hypnotizes you – distracts you from my musing – no worries. When the colder weather (or the notion it) gathers you indoors this coming fall, you’ll have all kinds of newsy stories to stream from Life Out Here in Alaska.

Sounds cozy, right?

Until September, Happy Summer!

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