A Girl Named Leney

THE JOURNAL

Posts in Thoughts
Dawn

the end of this season is nearing. 

a year of flush faced wonder. 

of physical and spiritual mountain climbing. 

of stripping away and down to the bone, to uncover the essential facts. 

my mind offers up the familiar words i’ve often used to describe this past year, but i am reaching for more. 

‘more’ is perhaps not possible to describe this kind of living. 

this sussing out and stealing in.


the icy ground is verbal in its protest of my warm steps as i walk towards the placid liquid sky.


the night is what greeted me here the first time i called this place home. 

the dark wall of sky pierced through with needling white-light stars.

but now, now it is the mauve maw of dawn. 

Nostalgia
www.agirlnamedleney.com

this is actually a post i wrote back in the Spring but in an effort to share more of the many drafts i have on here, i am sharing it tonight.
all Summer it has been an idea that has held up for me and has been on my mind many times during the past few months. 
i would love to hear your thoughts on it, as always, if you feel like reaching out and sharing them. 


this is an idea that has been circling the walls of my mind all week. 
sparked by a late night conversation with a friend over beers and gin and tonics and black bean burgers (just kidding. there was only one black bean burger. mine...)
i don't remember his exact wording but he essentially said: 

well you know don't you, that the moments you are nostalgic for, that you remember with fondness in your mind, are the ones in which you were truly YOU. you were yourself, as you were meant to be. unhindered and uncaring about the world and others perspective of you. 

and for some reason this blew. my. mind. 
perhaps because i am one to always be searching for enlightenment/self actualization/knowing who i am in every new season and aspect of my life and i am somewhat of a junky for self help/tips on living your best life and discovering your truest self.
but so much of that learning and search can be clouded by the external voices of the world. 
i believe we were each born with inherent worth and value, unable to be earned or acquired by any worldly action or accomplishment, and yet that is not largely how i live my life a lot of the time. the reason for which is often because i have lost sight of who i am. 
and because the day-to-day moments and the now can often be clouded, rushed, confusing and hurried, it is often in looking back at the past that this clarity, this recognition of inherent self, is gained for me. 
(the age-old adage of hindsight being 20/20 of course also applies) 

and as my friend brought this thought to the table, granted, largely expanded upon and explored by my all-at-once anchored mind, i immediately had moments in my life that i recognized and indeed often go back to in just such a way. with just such nostalgia. and i see, with such precision and clarity that those are indeed the moments that i have been, and truly am, myself: as i was made to be. 

a young girl running around in the woods and arrested in thought by different shapes of individual blades of grass. 

the moments of peace and calm within my apartments in the fan. 

walking around Richmond in the evenings and observing the day exchange pace with the night. 

the linear travel and connection of curiosity and play that encapsulated my childhood in boatyards while my Father worked on his boats. 

the sitting in grass, in the arms of trees, on the worn decks of old houses, in the back seats of cars, all over the world reading countless books. 

being cross legged on the floor listening to my Mother read to me and introduce to me at such a young age a broader view of something more than what was my immediate and physical world.

driving alone on back country roads.

pockets of time in my room alone creating endlessly hour after hour in varying mediums and materials. losing track of time as i taught myself new art forms and lessons and allowed my curiosities and love for process to shape the outcome more than my expectations. 

these are who i am. 
largely strung together during my childhood and during my adolescence into adulthood (a topic we also discussed, the reality of the selves we were as children being our truest selves and most telling of who we inherently are)

i don't know why this feels so important. 
maybe it doesn't to anyone else but me. 
but i feel as though it is, and something in me feels that it is an idea meant for others other than just myself. 
so here is where i record it, as with so many other things on here that can be listed under the tagline: or so i feel. 

Goals: Sprints vs. Marathons

i am an extremely goal, list and dream oriented and motivated person (see the goals tag here on the journal for proof). i have stated that i am a process junkie, but i am also addicted to getting.shit.done.
i am the kind of person who will almost-always make their bed as soon as they get out of it, but if for some reason the whole day goes by without it being made, i will make it right before i get in it at night.
i am also the kind of person who will add three things on the “to do” list that i’ve already accomplished just so i can check them off, who will use every last drop of shampoo before buying a new bottle and who will absolutely under no circumstances leave the house with only one errand to complete.

i like efficiency, progress, organization and accomplishing tasks. i have a really hard time not feeling like i am getting things done because, well, i always have a list of things to get done. 
i also have a hard time not wrapping up my worth in what it is i do and separating that from who i am (but i digress). 

i recently got back from a two month road trip and needless to say i have been flooded with inspiration and ideas and motivation ever since. more on that another time, but the point that’s relative to this post is that i have had a lot of ideas since that trip. a lot of project concepts, goals and endless tasks i want to complete. 

last night i texted a friend: 

“do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the things you're passionate about and all of your ideas and goals and all of the things you want to do?"

this, is a common problem for me. i have zero problems generating ideas. i am the ideas (wo)man. i am easily intrigued, curious, interested and fascinated by a wide array of things and as such my brain gets fired more often then not by the endless sparks i am coming into contact with. so it’s not ideas i have a hard time with, but the choosing of which ideas to act on. i tend to get overwhelmed with all of my plans and projects often to the point where i don’t act on any of them. it’s that paradox of the world being your oyster but you get too caught up in trying to figure out which side of the oyster to start from.
(and before you say "just pick one and start” it’s not that easy... i mean, completely hypothetical example, but if you wanted to build a tiny house, convert a sprinter van, gut an airstream, live on a sail boat and buy a teardrop trailer how would you choose??)

after commiserating with a “yea me too” my friend reminded me that there are different kinds of goals. namely: sprints vs. marathons. 

sprint goals are the things you can accomplish quickly and without much long term effort. things you can get done with just a short concentrated amount of energy in a small amount of time. 

things like... 
making your bed in the morning
starting a new instagram account
send an email proposal
start a newsletter
have a yard sale
sign up for an art class you’ve been wanting to take

marathon goals take more long term planning, are often step and task oriented and take dedication over a longer and more steady period of time. they still enact progress and forward movement but in a slower manner than that of a sprint. 

guys, i don’t know why but this helped me so much last night. my brain had been on hyperactive overdrive mode since Monday, i’d spent a total of 13 hours in two days just sitting in front of my computer working and brainstorming at my local coffee shop. and being able to further organize my already long list of goals and new project ideas, into something that felt more manageable and digestible was such a relief. 

however, all of that to say, being the dreamer that i am...



i have a lot of marathon goals.

Wildflower

you’re a wildflower though, you know? not one of those perfectly manicured and pre-planned pampered garden flowers. or secured and tended-to potted porch plants. 
no. 
you are a wayward side-of-the-road surprise, with a mind-of-your-own way about you. 
a varied find. 
unruly at times. 
often amidst weeds.
(you aren’t afraid to be in mixed company.)
here and there.
the nomad of flowers. and really it’s about time you embraced that. it really is. because most everyone else sees that about you. 
not that you need their validation to be what you were made to be. i’m only saying that if what you are is so obvious to everyone else, why are you pretending that it’s not obvious to you? 
embrace your roots. let your seeds sow where they fall. allow the wind to scatter and plant you where it may. for that is the way you travel. that is how you find your home(s): growing freely without intervention.
 

Waldeinsamkeit

Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods, and a connectedness to nature.

//

these words remind me of the ways in which i want to be like you, trees of the woods.
rooted. 
grounded. 
that is what i wish to be.
like you, with my feet in the dirt and my arms open-handed towards the sky.
for, like you, i too come from dirt. 
like you, i was made with a makers hands.
hands that fashioned my spirit and soul to intrinsically love being exactly here.
here, in-between and next-to your rough skin and the before-during-after of you undressing and redressing your arms and torsos with the garments of leaves and moss— according to the season.
here, amidst the light-to-dark dappling of the shade of your embrace.
here, where i am reminded of that beginning point of my creation and how i came to be.
here, that my solitude brings with it feelings of release, ease, tranquility and comfort rather than ones of loneliness, restriction, fear and isolation.
i love how being here in the depth and wildness of you brings me that gift.
of grounding in myself.
of connection.


images shot in 35mm film in Oregon's Mount Hood National Forest on the way to Bagby Hot Springs.

Inimical

my actions, inimical to the well being and survival of my heart. 
but my mind, my mind

b
l
i
n
d
l
y

tells me to forge on, ignoring the rhythmic warnings of my heart.
which is, what always gets me into trouble.
ignoring my heart and the morse code of warning it beats out to me, messages meant for my mind. 
but my mind, my mind, 
is stalwart to its mission. 
it knows best.
for its very nature is to know things after all.
(so it tells me)
heart will catch up
it says.
it says a lot of things, my mind.
and my heart, my heart

b
e
a
t
s

out the center and bone of the thing that it, and sometimes i, knows is the truth.
which is that it’s the one that really knows.
it knows more than my mind.
and, really, what i should do, is listen to it, rather than my mind, more often.

A Passing Scene

he was towheaded, face abloom with freckles that i could see even through my windshield as i pulled onto the street. he was crawling up out of the ditch to the head of a little miniature play car he was driving around the yard.

he couldn't have been more than five. 

as he turned towards the sound of my car, eyes alert and inquisitive, he waved. 
rotating his open palm from the wrist, fingers straight and insistent in their communicated greeting. the learned and carefully practiced wave of adolescence. 
the suddenness of his reaction to greet me was more instantaneous than i expected. it was almost as if there was a familiarity in his turning toward me, as if he knew me and had been expecting my arrival.

as soon as i passed him tears welled up in my eyes.
i was shocked by my sudden reaction. i glanced at myself in the rear view mirror almost as if needing to confirm visually what i felt physically.
and i ached.
i ached for the innocence and beauty of a child playing outside happily by himself. 
i ached for wanting a child of my own to bring up in just that way.
i ached for the remembrance and days past of my own childhood that had been spent in a similar fashion
i ached for the trusting and intent gaze that had met mine and how pure and innocent it seemed. untainted, as of yet, by the worlds evils and disappointments and heartaches.  

i have replayed this passing scene over and over and over in my mind.
wondering why it moves me to the depth that it does. 
indeed, i have tears in my eyes even now as i think about that little boys face.
the above reasons are a partial explanation. 
but there is something more that i am unable to put my finger on and which i am coming to realize i do not need to know and understand. 

it is enough, for now, remembering that i hold this kind of ocean within me. 

I Have Enough Time I Have Enough Space

i wrote the post below one week ago, and meant to post it then but didn't have internet again until now. 
i am home now, from the below mentioned travels, and i find myself even more in need of the mantra at the bottom of this post than i was this time a week ago.

two weeks of concentrated travels and time spent with people and new experiences was a lot for me. i loved and reveled in every second of it, but now, settling back home i'm experiencing one hell of a come-down and withdrawal in a weirdly backwards and unexpected way. 
as someone who is used to and thrives in being alone more often than not, i've been disoriented by my lack of desire for it after this trip. however there's so much i have to process and understand from both New Orleans and Atlanta that i'm only able to do by myself. a lot of wonderful things happened while i was away, especially in the way of eye opening conversations with people. there were a LOT of those. perhaps my feeling of overwhelm with that aspect especially is due in part to me being such a words person, but i also think there was some heightened level of importance in many of the things discussed with both new and old friends these last few weeks. a sense of some sort of pivotal turning point that i just don't fully grasp or see yet.

i've felt very scattered and stressed and confused by my lack of being able to sort through all of that truth be told. especially amidst needing to get work done after being gone for so long. 
not sure what the balance looks like, or what the solution is either, but trusting that there is enough time and space for me to figure it out. 

this is somewhat counter to the things i normally share on here, but for some reason i felt the need to share it nonetheless.
perhaps this too is part of the processing.


March 19th, 2018

oh friends this week has been something else. 
i've been on the road for a week now and i'm so in love with the natural beauty and raw humanity i've encountered in my travels so far. 

this season of life has been such a unique one for me. unlike anything i've ever experienced before.
i've been living in a somewhat transcendental and almost even nomadic state these days in the sense that my regular routines, and being in a familiar place consistently, hasn't been all that much a part of my day to day over the last six months or so. in fact, consistency has been a foreign concept in a lot of ways for quite some time now.
however, because some level of consistency is a thing that is needed for my well being, i've had to find it in new and unexpected ways and in places i would't have noticed it before. which seems to be the theme of this season of my life: finding things in unexpected places.

so much of that is due to perspective, a topic on which i will have to go more in depth with at a later time, but in regards to an every-day way of being it's changed so much of my attitude and mentality in regards to my circumstances. 
what you focus on becomes your reality, to a certain extent.
if i focus on the negativity and sadness of a place, whether it's emotional or physical, it's hard to really be able to look outside of that and recognize the good things amidst the bad.
to see the beauty that is potentially even more prominent than the ugliness, but that is just more subtle in it's way of speaking.
often you just have to quiet yourself enough to hear it, to see it, to feel it. 

goodness, hadn't really intended to write all of that, i started this post with the intention of communicating a different thought but i suppose they're connected... 

anyway, with all of that, this season of being on the road, on the go, and just on, has been an adjustment. i am more inclined to being a creature of solitude and calm spaces and slowness. that's where i most consistently try to place myself and what much of the past few years of my life have consisted of.
not to say that i don't thrive in environments of vibrancy and people and newness--i very much can, but the more consistent narrative of choice for me is the opposite. 

however much of that has been turned upside down lately. i haven't been in the same place for more than a week since this past fall, and that was hard for me at first. it still is if i'm being honest. i was so used to being in my quiet, plant filled and artistically curated space. now Blue Moon and i have been driving all over the countryside and my home more often than not is a space other than my own.
i've had to learn how to make 'home' more of a state of mind rather than a physical place as well as finding the comfort of home in people and their spaces they share with me. 

which is another idea i want to explore in writing later as well: what it is to make a home more so within myself than in a physical place. (what are your thoughts on that?)

but, all of that aside, i'm sitting here in a coffee shop in Atlanta and having such a wonderful conversation with the barista Kyala (something i thought perhaps i was at my capacity for after all of the intense and wonderful and deep conversations i've already had over this past week), and she said this thing that i really needed to hear. a mantra of sorts.

"i have enough time, i have enough space."

and sitting here, feeling all of the things, and reveling in this heightened state of awareness and experiencing more than i am used to in my day-to-day, and feeling on the verge of slipping behind with processing and understanding it all, i am going to hold onto that. 

That Thing

that thing. 
the identification of which everyone always talks about gloriously obtaining when you recognize that thing is the thing that you love doing more than anything else. 
or, at least, more than most things.  
the discovery of which, allegedly, comes when you lose track of time doing said thing.

well, i think i've been doing just that thing for the past few hours.
three hours straight, give or take a few minutes.
three hours without moving.
three hours until 4:25am (and counting).
four in the morning.
and i am, by no means, the night owl i used to be. 
in fact i was telling my Mother (yawning while doing so) at 9pm just the other night how it was very well past the time i usually slipped into bed and started reading before calling it a night.
i do not remember the last time i stayed up until 4am.
(watching that meteor shower last month was probably close, but i didn't stay up for that, i went to bed and then set my alarm to wake up...)

all of that is to say...
pay attention.
oh pay attention, you. 
pay attention, me.
to that thing. 
that thing that you do and you lose track of time when you're doing it. 
that is a tell, it really is.
i don't think that using that, losing track of time, as a measurement and validation of your passion is a cliche.
or, if it is, it's a cliche worth embracing.
spend more time, time you don't realize you're spending, on that thing. 
it's worth while.
it means something that you lost track of time. 
that you forgot where you were. 
that you were that singularly focused and driven towards its production and outcome.
that you weren't thinking about tomorrow. 
that you weren't thinking about yesterday.
that you were just exactly here, doing exactly that.
that thing.
that's enough you know?
you need to let that, and the losing track of time, be enough. 
because it means that that thing is intrinsically tied to a part of your inner clock, it has such an impact on it that it muddles the arms and hands of it, and the sort of linear wave and anchor to what is your normal perception of time in the outside world.
and that's because it goes right past your inner clock and straight into the centermost part of you from which your essence and passion and dreams come from. it taps into that. and when you tap into that, you're acting on some sort of divine in you. a thing that was placed there from your inception and that you were, to some extent or some capacity, made to do. 

that's what i think anyway. 
(that, and that the outside world plays too much of an influence on what we think, but i digress)

if you don't think you have a thing like that, or if you've never experienced the losing track of time in a way that feels good, well that's okay. it just means you need to create space for it. 
if you're so full to your capacity all of the time, and on and in and out and up and down every minute of the day, well of course you're not going to lose track of time doing anything.  
because you don't have any time to lose.
so find some to barter with.
create some space.
sit in it.
be in it.
especially be.
just be.
and then try new things.
or, maybe, some old things. some things you used to enjoy doing but got put on the back burner because the outside world told you X, Y and Z were much more important. 
start there.
do that until you find that thing.

Moon Musings
www.agirlnamedleney.com

beautiful new moon
you are a welcome face
at my window.

you greet me always with a consistent serenity
pure of face and,
should you have one,
heart.

(though perhaps suggesting you have such a mercurial organ is a defilement to your etherial and constant nature)

oh to be as sure in my body as you are in yours.
whether bold
    round shape. 
or
coquettish
    curved crescent.

teach me your ways, 
for though the night cloaks so many of my fears,
     the sun
                reveals
                           each morning
                                                 what i can no longer hide from.