I have borrowed the title of one of Natalie Goldberg's chapters from her book Writing Down the Bones, on this windy Friday morning in February. She encapsulates the need to go to the edge, from a writer's point of view, to have the courage to open ourselves up to writing with passion, depth, in our bravest voice.
I realise, as I have lived on this planet for fifty years, that this is where I find myself on many levels. Not wanting the safe, comfortable, tidy route I did my best to follow for so many years. There was always a part of me ready to break out, to explode across the page of life with noise, colour and exuberance! For the rest of my days, I want to not only smell the roses, but to lie down with them, touch them, taste them and know their inner workings.
I choose not the path of most comfort (though there are days when I crave it and hide wrapped up in the duvet) but of adventure, challenging myself to grow and go deeper through relationships and experiences.
I could take the view that the second chapter is about to begin, the one where most people contemplate a comfortable retirement and an easier way of life. There's nothing wrong with wishing for that. My wishes for the next fifty years reach out like a baby's arms, with a mixture of curiosity, zest and fearlessness, in some kind of upside-down reality kind of path, presenting itself to me through everyday experiences and extraordinary ones that come begging, every now and then, to be followed and allowed space and time for exploration, plus the courage to express all that I discover.
It is with a brave heart I accept and invite increasing amounts of joy, love and connection in and the real hope these transfer to my writing and working life. Watch out for Ellie as she spreads her wings wider!
Wishing you an adventurous Friday,
with love, Ellie xx