Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Stolen Story- Celebrate The Joy

This weekend I visited Tyler's Aunt and Uncle in Connecticut. They are moving from their fairytale house, a geodesic dome, with acres of runaway land. Butternut squash moves through their vegetable garden like a swamp thing. The wood burning stove stretches way up to the dome ceiling and the fire cackles as they make their way through endless bottles of wine.

But they're ready to leave it, much to everyone else's dismay, and a new home waits for them in Maryland, while they wait to sell the dome. And so they find themselves in a holding pattern. In their minds, they are in Maryland already. They are ready for that new life. But, physically, they are in the same place they've always been.

I sympathize with this feeling. In recent months I've felt that I know where I want to be and I can't quite get there. I'm ready to be married to Tyler but we've somehow been caught in an unintentional, epic-long engagement. I know where I want to be professionally but it's taking a while to get there. My goal of published author is now four years in the making (at least twenty-four years in the dreaming stage) and it doesn't seem any closer, no matter how many words have been written, no matter how much I'd like to measure progress in other terms.

But Tyler's Aunt told me about an experience in a recent yoga class that changed her attitude and, after hearing it, it changed mine.

While stretching on her mat during class, her hand brushed against her husband's and so they stayed that way, for a moment, holding hands. When the teacher instructed they go into a resting pose, they immediately let go, shifting, following instructions, getting into the correct position.

Apparently, the teacher had seen them holding hands and told them to go back to that moment. "Celebrate the joy you have," he said.

Of course, she told me that story, and it touched me. I knew I had to have it. It's probably time I admit that I don't have any of my own stories. I steal them. I sneak out with them through the always open door.


  1. Melissa, your time will come and that yoga teacher was so right to say 'Celebrate the joy you have' ... or else you wish your life away and miss what is really happening.

    I empathise with the writing position ... it always seems endless ... but when it comes, that time will be sweet - until you begin to sweat over the revues!!! Only joking! Sorry I have been out of touch with comments. I am just back from Ireland, but am off to England. I will be back mid October, but am leaving some Ireland posts for when I am away ... if you wnat to look at them.
    Keep holding onto and nurturing your talent!

  2. What a nice story. I'll be thinking of that all day now.

  3. I hope I never forget the yoga story - so beautiful and a lesson to be learned.

  4. Thank you for stopping by my blog ... and for the image of hands brushing and holding during Yoga practice. I think we all "steal" stories, to some degree -- conversations overheard on a plane, something a distant relative once did, the way our old high school teacher rolled her Rs. I'll be thinking of the Yoga story today.

  5. Great story.
    We ALL have great stories, we just have to find them. Also. Right now. This is life, this is now, it's our future, it's our everything. Waiting for a future time or a future moment will leave us ALWAYS feeling like we're stuck in the dome while we're waiting for our next house.
    No one WANTS to feel that way.
    My theory is that the journey IS the destination.
    It's just hard to remember that when we're living for something in the future.

  6. That's a great story, Melissa! I'm just starting to follow your blog and I can already tell that you're a gifted writer.

    Oh, and regarding long engagements, I had what felt like a long engagement, too. Just think though, it's the only time in your life that you'll be able to call each other "fiance." It sounds silly, but it helped me to think of it that way. :)

  7. This is lovely Melissa :) Life is full of moments like that. You don't realize they are perfect until they are gone. Thanks for sharing.

  8. so beautiful (the story, the writing)

  9. You have many a wonderful story, Melissa -- I'm so sure of that. This was a beautiful story and I definitely relate to what you're going through, and the sentiment expressed by the yoga instructor. I often feel like I'm too obsessed with what comes next -- getting engaged; moving out; getting published. I'm constantly worried about what I should be doing or will do tomorrow. It's so rare for me to pause and relax and just enjoy the moment. To celebrate the joy I have. I try to remind myself -- often; daily, if possible -- but it's hard.