I believe in signs. I believe that the universe — some might say god, I probably wouldn’t — talks to you.
Where I last worked FT, the joke on the 4th floor (where I officed) was Britton believes the universe talks to you. And I do. But you have to pay attention, and listen.
So when I’m pretty stressed, and my online horoscope — which I don’t check all the time, not even every week — says:
There are some deep, messy, beautiful mysteries you need to talk about. At least for now, the only listener capable of drawing them out of you in the proper spirit might be a compassionate inanimate object that won’t judge you or interrupt you. (Freewill Astrology)
I pay attention. And I try to figure out what my inanimate confidante might be.
Yesterday it was a mug of tea. Today? It might be a sketch book, or the Miles Davis I put on Spotify. But more likely? It’s a screen, a blank page, a sketch book. It’s something I can write or draw or even paste. It’s a creative moment alone, time to figure out what I think through writing about it. Time to be.
I keep telling folks I’m an introvert who likes people, but they don’t seem to believe me. So here it is again, for others who may not have self-diagnosed ( ): I need PILES of down time. Time to putter w/ my chores — I don’t do well when I’m hurried. Time to watch the birds fluttering around the various feeders. Time just to breathe, as the journal I made reminds me.
I am happiest when there is nothing on my calendar. Really. I’m okay teaching — that feeds me. And the occasional meeting to help a project I believe in? I can do that, too. But days of things expected of me, and I shrivel. Hence the need of an inanimate confidante, I guess.
So I’m going to cruise the house and yard, allowing a laxer meaning of ‘inanimate’ to include the trees I love, the roses and the various plants in the walled garden. And maybe a journal, too.
Every beginner’s heart needs a confidante. Inanimate has real advantages, especially if it feeds your creativity. I recommend it — it always heals what ails me.