Saturday, January 30, 2016
It's been awhile since I have written a blog post. Too long. Too long away from pen and paper. It has called me in the whispers of my soul, each day, crying for me to come back. Yet, the grief of my Mother and the desire to focus on anything else that takes me away from emotion has led me astray from my creative life.
The sunshine has started to peak its way through the darkness of my soul, yet, there are days when I am exposed to other people and the interactions with them gets too intense. The intensity sends me back into the abyss of grief and I spend the day yet again in my bathrobe, on the couch watching Hallmark movies or in my study listening to one of my spiritual teachers, in hopes of feeling just a tiny bit better.
I don't like those days, they feel yukky and they feel hard to climb back from. But, it is those times that I have learned to reach out to those I love and who love me. I didn't use to do that. I hope I have learned something as I have evolved through my years on this earth.
So yesterday, after not having slept for almost two days and suffering from a lot of tears and a nagging headache, I stayed in my pajamas and let myself pull from anything I could to start feeling better. I thought about all the things my Mom and I used to enjoy together. I called my friend to help move some furniture and I started moving things around my study and bedroom. I needed my comfy chairs back in my study. I started looking at home renovation ideas and I called another friend to come over and help me prepare for my Airbnb guests.
And this morning... I opened Elizabeth Gilbert's book called Big Magic and I read and I read. I opened up her website and listened to her voice about this very book. The one passage I read was this:
I've found that it's nearly impossible for me to write when I am unhappy, and it is definitely impossible for me to write fiction when I am unhappy. ( In other words: I can live a drama or I can invent a drama- but I do not have the capacity to do both at the same time.)
Emotional Pain makes me the opposite of a deep person: it renders my life narrow and thin and
isolated. My suffering takes this whole thrilling and gigantic universe and shrinks it down to the
size of my unhappy head. When my personal devils take over, I can feel my creative angels
retreating. They watch my struggle from a safe distance, but they worry. Also they grow
inpatient. "It's almost as if they are saying , "lady , please -hold it together" We have so much more work to do!"
My desire to work-my desire to engage with my creativity as intimately and as freely as possible-is my
strongest personal incentive to fight back against pain , by any means necessary, and to fashion a life for myself that is as sane and healthy and stable as it can possibly be.
But that's only because of what I have chosen to trust, which is quite simply: love
Love over suffering, always.
I could totally relate to this passage in the book. I have a hard time writing when my heart is in extreme pain. Although my writing is oftentimes cathartic, the heartache is so difficult to bear that the words don't come.
And so, like Elizabeth Gilbert, today, I focus on love. Love for myself, Love for the books and the blogs and the words I was brought here to write, Love for my Mother who was such an artist, cook, baker, interior decorator, writer and Love for the people that I hope I inspire with the sharing of my words and life experiences.
Posted by Kimberley Barker Nightingale at 11:50 AM
Monday, January 11, 2016
And so the snow finally fell that year. It hadn't come until January 11th. A late winter snowfall.
I remember looking out my living room window and watching the flakes as they passed by the streetlight. It was quiet outside. The earth was finally blanketed for a winter's rest and somehow my heart felt at peace. I looked across the street to the little blue house that my Mother wanted to buy so many years before that and wondered , would she still be alive if she had lived there. I would never know and my heart thought, at least this winter, she won't struggle through the cold as she had so many winters before.
I found myself talking to her and letting her know the first snow had fallen because you see, we always had shared that first snowfall together. Each year, we would call each other, look out the window and share in the beauty and the quiet the snow had brought.
That year, I celebrated with her in my head and in my heart, calling her with my spirit as the tears fell down my face. "Mom, it's the first snowfall, look out your window, it's beautiful."
You see when my Mom looked out her window, she saw deer and a pond frozen over. When I looked out the window I saw houses and streetlights. Both of us still admiring the quiet view and the warmth of each other with the silence on the phone.
That year, would be the first of many snowfalls I would call my Mother through my spirit and my heart. As each year passed, my heart healed a little bit more, but my love for my Mother would never end.
Our family has grown over those snowfalls, more children added to the mix, challenges we have faced together because she was no longer here, Holiday Celebrations still remain a priority and birthdays are never forgotten. Her legacy has been carried on through her children and her grandchildren and I hope through generations and more snowfalls to come.
Thank you dear Mom for the Snowfall that Finally Came That Year. With All My Love, Kim
Posted by Kimberley Barker Nightingale at 11:41 PM
Sunday, January 3, 2016
And so as my family and I walk through the weeks following the death of our Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Great Grandmother, we all are processing this differently - yet we are keeping in contact with one another , supporting one another and loving each other through our grief.
Yesterday afternoon was rough for me, I did what I knew to overcome the dark sadness that lurked in my solar plexus in the morning. I went to the gym and pushed my body to the limit, so I could feel something, anything other than the pain of the grief. The gym has always been a way for me to process challenges in my life. I drove myself for two hours and was successful for a time until my girlfriends called me afterwards and I cried with them through the sadness . They reminded me that these times will come and go and that they will be there to help me move through them.
I told them I wanted to put the sadness behind me and find that inner motivation,drive that has always been inside me to accomplish things in my life. My girlfriend reminded me that it's there, maybe hidden, but it was something my Mom always supported in me. She was my number one cheerleader and always, always had faith in me that I could move the next mountain I decided to climb in my life. And yes, maybe she isn't here physically , but she is with me in the spirit realm of life, watching and guiding me.
And so, as I prepare for the days and weeks ahead in 2016, I know three things: I will publish my Mother's works as she asked me to , not two months ago , I will publish my own book and I will continue to write on my blog. My Mother loved reading my blog posts and in fact, I can recall one day , she called me and said " I just read one of your blog posts, congratulations, the batton has been passed to you my daughter, you are a beautiful writer." Oh my god, the tears strolled down my face, knowing what an amazing writer my Mother has been since I was a child! This was one of the biggest compliments she ever gave me.
Today, is a new day, I have only shed a few tears today and my inner motivation is coming back. I will turn my grief into making some of my Mother's and my dreams come true in 2016.
For all of you out there who has had parents, grandparents, spouses pass on, find the good that they gave to you! Honor them, keep their legacy alive by celebrating them! Let the grief be a catalyst to something new, beautiful and amazing!
Love and Light,