Underbelly: 10 Things - Rewrite


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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#139 in a series of wild and precious observations on controlling your narrative

This week I contemplated rewriting — I think, unbeknownst to me, I began this project as a way to keep me curious and present each week, each day of my remaining life.
How can I not be curious and present when my weekly assignment is to reduce that week into a (hopefully easy to swallow) capsule?
I did not intend to begin this project right before a pandemic.
This week, I remained steady in asking the question, “What is the next right thing to do in this broken world?”
And, as I listened for answers, I was often surprised by the stage direction. One of the final directions was to literally jump in a lake.
With a friend. As a way to reset, as a way to appreciate both the natural surroundings and clear blue sky we were gifted after last week’s sludge and as a way to calibrate our internal systems — breathing slowed, heart beat slowed, muscles melting.
The vulnerability of allowing myself to be seen as the nervous jumbled mess I was pre-jump (not really jumping, more walking in a stately fashion) was arguably the most difficult part.
And yet, it was an honest nervous jumbled mess. I contrasted it to the prickly, defensive, viperous mess I have been in the past and felt kinda good.
Life is hard, in part, I think, because we are performing live. We can’t undo. We can’t revise, exactly. We can, however, continue to own our role, our performance, our purpose here on this earth and remain both curious and appreciative of our steady (if sometimes inconsistent) movement toward a guarded but softened heart.
“Rewriting on the page is safer than revision in, say, painting, where you can paint past a good place and wreck a canvas. Performers can’t revise at all. A writer can always go back to an earlier draft. The point is to have more curiosity about possible forms the work could take than sense of self-protection for your ego.” — Mary Karr, the Art of the Memoir
“23Guard your heart with all diligence,
for from it flow springs of life.
24Put away deception from your mouth;
keep your lips from perverse speech.
25Let your eyes look forward;
fix your gaze straight ahead.
26Make a level path for your feet,
and all your ways will be sure.” — Proverbs, 4:23 New International Version, Bible
3. Prompt
Part of my week had me redoing things, in a way. I found myself doing things I had done in the past, and then being aware that I was doing them differently this time.
Not necessarily “better”, mind you — differently. More wholeheartedly, with less self-protection for my ego. And that at times evoked an odd, uncomfortable sensation.
What would you revise, if you could, in your current expression of this life?
Not taking away anything from the scene you are currently in, but rather, your performance in it. What would you revise? How would you play it differently?
4. Quest
I feel sometimes as though we are given attempts to revise certain crucial scenes in our lives. I may very well be wrong about this :) But certain key refrains in my life do seem to repeat in slightly different variations.
Could we make an attempt this week to be aware of these moments, if in fact you also notice them?
It could be as simple as the way you make your coffee or tea every morning. It could be that a certain type of person often enters your life — could you treat them differently this time?
5. Level up
Can you incorporate just one practice that enriches someone else’s life, even just a bit?
6. Video
Faith in Focus short | Mary Karr on Ignatian Spirituality
Faith in Focus short | Mary Karr on Ignatian Spirituality
7. Article
The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison - The New York Times
8. Poem
Pathogenesis by Aliah Lavonne Tigh - Poems | Academy of American Poets
9. Hero
Toni Morrison - Wikipedia
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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Nelson, British Columbia