Visualization: The Morning After

Visualization is powerful. The thought that in the next year (give or take) I will leave this mountain followed me all day.

In many ways, my world felt bigger, as though giving myself the chance to envision another life instantly expanded my mindset—the possibilities seemed endless! But the thought of leaving also made much of the day seem crystal clear, as though it were my duty to soak it all up while I still could. Somewhere between fantasy and nostalgia resides a healthy medium; a grounded and wise sense of vision. It is this kind of vision I seek.

When I think of specific places, I think of the Berkshire Mountains (Amherst, Great Barrington, or Northampton, Massachusetts). I think of Athens, Georgia—but only in the summertime. I also think of Marshall or Asheville, North Carolina, not much over an hour away. I think of Santa Fe, a place I’ve never been but think about often because of the art community there. I think of Keene or Saranac Lake, New York in the Adirondacks, but then think twice because I felt isolated when I lived there before. I think of New York City, I think of Atlanta, I think of Charlottesville or Roanoke or Damascus, Virginia. I think of Shasta, California and Joseph, Oregon but worry they’d be too small, though my heart would swell to be there. I think of high desert Colorado in the same breath that I think of winning the lottery.

I think, also, of an entirely new ecosystem: Portland, Maine and the Atlantic Coast. I think Provincetown and Providence. I think of Naples, Florida, but then I feel uncertain. Oh, to live and write, oceanside! There’d be page after page of discovery, just as my initiation into Appalachian living was charted in the early entries of this blog a few years back.

Likewise, visualizing about my career sent me spinning this afternoon. I am going to make it to age 30 without having worked a 9-5 M-F job. It’s not as though I tried to avoid that. Just that I was either fully immersed in community (Writing House, Resident Life, AmeriCorps, Intentional Community near here) or balancing writing with part-time low-stress work (aka my job at the coffeehouse). If I get a shot at teaching college kids, I’ll take it. But otherwise I’m going for the part-time low stress job and the full time writing life, as I’ve worked it out this many years so far. It’s the location and stimulation that needs a shift, but I like the balance as I have it now (Seasonal work? Yes please!) .

And so it goes. I engaged in these thoughts all day with delight. Occasionally, I experienced dread—as I said, visualization is powerful. As for my hair: today I let the curls go wild. No part. Just a head of curls going whatever way they wanted. And guess what? Four people told me my hair looked the best they’d ever seen it today. Funny, how the universe can talk back so quickly on the lighter matters, when all the while your heart is knocking on the walls of your chest, just begging for somebody to answer.

  • "lis"


    As someone staring a new life's "chapter" in the face — moving, with a short or long transition in Greensboro — I can tell you it's both exhilarating & scary as hell! And has been every time I have moved, at least the ones I can remember. I started moving at about 2 weeks old, if you count the trip to NC and back from AK to placate the grandparents after the first grandchild's AK birth. But you know this, west coast transpant. I'm sure you'll find something positive anywhere you land. Just remember, it's a "dry" heat in Santa Fe.

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