It’s Not Too Late to Be an April Fool

I’m no prankster. I’m no good at lying and I’m too prone to guilt and anxiety to be very good at playing tricks on people. I’m much more likely to be the fool.

But this year I realized what an important holiday April Fool’s Day can be.

This year on April 1st, I stood in a circle with a bunch of strangers in a bare room in the Lavapiés neighborhood in Madrid.

“Now,” said our bespectacled leader in his British accent. “Introduce yourself to the circle, and tell everyone how stupid you are. Say your name, and these words: ‘and I am very stupid.’” We nodded gravely and began.

“My name is Sarah. And I am very stupid.”

“Yes,” said the leader. “We can see that.” Continue reading

Taking On the Trickster

Right now our house is full of dreams and preparations for crossing a new border.

“Maybe I’ll grow my hair out a little longer while we live in Spain,” says my partner. “Maybe I’ll start going by ‘Gustavo.'”

I express my support for these ideas and turn my attention from reading about the areas where pickpockets are the worst to researching undergarments with secret pouches for stashing valuables.

After my last post on living fully into liminal spaces, one of my dear, brainy friends left me a most intriguing message:

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Liminal Living

About a month ago, I got rid of my couch. Well, “couch.” It was a beautiful antique Chippendale sofa my grandmother had proudly displayed in her parlors since the 60s. It was not comfortable at all, but I piled it up with extra cushions and draped it in scarves and pretended it could be. But then I realized my skin broke out every time I laid down on it. Then I realized that my cat was having persistent skin problems, too. Then I realized I am allergic to feathers and this thing was stuffed with feathers and probably several decades worth of mites. So I paid some dude $35 to cart it off (please don’t tell Granny). If I had the time and patience to reupholster it, I might have been able to sell it, but it was time for it to go.

The living room echoes now, and it’s still not comfortable at all, but it’s not the right time to buy a new couch.

“Do you know the word liminal? Like ‘liminal spaces?’” my dear friend William asked me 6 1/2  years ago. He and I were both single at the time and staying with family while between lives. We took a lot of walks, and that night we were wandering through the neighborhood where my parents lived. It was close to midnight in deep winter, so the small town streets were completely still. We’d just passed the house where he’d grown up. The light from the blue street lamps made it and its neighbors look more like a movie set than places with real living people inside.

I told him I didn’t think I’d heard the word liminal before.

“I came across it in this book I’m reading.” He was studying folklore, getting ready to apply to grad school. “It’s kind of like an in-between state.”

“Like limbo?”

“No, not quite like limbo.” Limbo had connotations of absence, he said, where liminal spaces were something more than that. Continue reading

Showing Up and Hearing the Fear

In my previous post, I mentioned a writing project I’ve been attempting to show up to every day for the past many months. Most days I am successful–in showing up, I mean. Maybe some people are gifted with follow-through bravery, but seeing a long-term solo project to completion without losing steam has always been difficult for me. It’s been so difficult, in fact, that some low-lying fears have had the chance to take root in my idle moments; sometimes I can feel them rustling in the slightest breeze, “Maybe you just can’t!” (But more on that voice in a minute.)boot-1198652_960_720

I have several tactics that have helped me keep showing up to my creative work these days:

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These Are Not the Steps You’re Looking For

Like just about everyone with a heart not made of stone, I loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

(If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this post contains a minor spoiler, but if you haven’t seen it by this point, I wonder…are you really that worried about spoilers? You decide; it’s your innocence.)

I loved the badass female lead, I loved the story line of discovering one’s access to greater powers, but I ESPECIALLY loved that the movie ended with Rey climbing a bunch of old stone steps winding up a mountain to get to the teacher at the top who would–one can only assume–help her reach her badass potential in the next movie AAAAAH!

The credits rolled. I said to myself, “I gotta find me some of those steps.” Continue reading

Cultivating Beginner’s Mind

You might not guess this about me, but I hate looking stupid.

I don’t mind looking silly, but I have real hang ups with looking like I don’t know what I’m doing when I feel like I “should” be on my game. This unfortunate sense of pride has, at times, kept me from: stopping for directions when I’m lost, asking friends for help when I’m sad, and putting myself out there in important ways when I could grow (I cannot tell you how many partially begun blog domains I’ve abandoned across the internet).

Then I started taking a pottery class.

I’ve always wanted to learn to throw a pot on a wheel, and 6 months ago, my schedule finally allowed me an opening to do so. About 15 minutes into the first class, Continue reading