Yesterday, I stumbled upon an old book full of Morning Pages, a journaling exercise that’s an extension of Julia Cameron’s brilliant The Artist’s Way.
I was 22 when I wrote them. Not a wife, not a mom, not a bit sure where I was going in life. And, as expected, many of the pages are filled with angst and ambivalence…and boys. But one of the first pages I turned to floored me. Here’s an excerpt:
Last night in my car, I had the Phenomenon soundtrack cranked up and everything around me seemed to be going in slow motion. And I whispered to myself that I was so thankful to be worry-less. I just felt I should remember how it feels to have things that are so minute compared to other people’s problems. I don’t have kids, I am in love, I have great friends. Life is so good to me. God has truly blessed me.
After shopping, I was driving down Hennepin and just looking at the people and the buildings. At a stoplight, I noticed a building with all of its lights on in the second story. And there were all these dancers. They were in a circle, gracefully moving round and round, each one passing the window, moving her hands through the air like she was caressing it. And I was just stunned by the beauty of it all.
I couldn’t hear their music, but I could feel it. And time stood still. I wanted to be there with them, moving my body without effort or self-consciousness. I wanted to feel what that would be like. But the light turned green and I had to move on with my real life…which actually, sometimes, makes me feel like dancing anyway.”
Two things stun me about this entry. First, I actually remember that moment like it was last year – not 15 years ago! I remember the very street corner, the building, the graceful silhouettes passing by the window. And, a couple of times a month, I actually think about those dancers whenever I’m at that street corner. I had no idea I’d written that memory down somewhere.
Secondly, I’m kind of amazed my 22 year old self wrote this entry; it sounds like something I could write today. It warms my heart to know that, even back then, I not only noticed that simple beauty, but reflected on it and wrote it down. Pretty dang cool.