The Therapy Booth

resting, doodling and holding love signs

In-Between

You’re such a free spirit!

I really admire what you do!

You’re so inspiring! I could never do what you’re doing . . .

I heard these words a lot these days and I smile and sometimes shake my head. It’s interesting to see myself through the eyes of others. When I’m over here seeing the free-fall and the month-long hunt for a place to land where I can get a little rest, make a few Skype calls, do a few doodles, write a few lines . . .

I had the amazing fortune to spend five weeks on Maui this winter. I had the sense, when I first arrived there, that something major was happening. Seeds were getting planted. Old pathways were getting interrupted. New paths were yet to appear. Uprooted from Austin by Love and Mystery, I found myself in a profound paradise.

Just before leaving for Hawaii (by way of New York City — lucky me some more!) I was inspired to pick up The Artist’s Way again. This 12 week, self-guided course in creativity has been a go-to for me over the past several years when I was ready to unleash more creativity or when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to play in, but I knew that what I had been playing in wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. I love Julia Cameron’s methods of helping us slough off what’s no longer current and bring to light what feels fresh and accurate in the moment. She acknowledges, at about the point I am in the course, that the old may not be working anymore, but the new isn’t clear yet.

It’s this in-between that I want to honor in this writing. This unknown, empty, neither here nor there-ness. We often hear stories of folks who have come through one trial or another and they’re reporting, looking back on what they’ve been through and survived. But we don’t often hear about what it’s like right here.

Somewhere In Between by Richard Barrett

Somewhere In Between by Richard Barrett

We live in a culture of claims. I’m Carin. I’m a social worker. I’m a Living Inquiries facilitator. I’m a daughter/sister/friend. I’m a nomad. I’m a writer. I’m an artist. I’m a musician. I’m a Cancer. I’m a woman. I’m in transition.

And I can tell, I’m wanting to claim this transition, this in-between, this exploring. I feel impassioned to nurture the neither here nor there, to bump up (always) my self care, to look into what I need and want right now, when I’m not this but not that.

One of the new and unexpected things in my life is a severe cat allergy. I’ve never had this before, but since I’ve been back on the mainland, I’ve had to leave three different house sits (I’ve been house sitting — including with lots of cats — for the better part of the last year) due to respiratory stress. Bummer! So I’ve been looking for a place I can land and root and rest for a while — and breathe fresh air and give my lungs a chance to recover and let my mind and imagination spread out, where I can keep working my Artist’s Way exploration, make my doodles, write a few verses. I’ve had an idea since before Maui (though I began collecting the tools while there) to make a magazine of my writing and pictures, and I’ve been aching for a space to rest and call my own and spread out my materials and see that magazine come to life.

And I may have found such a space — at least for the next month — a place to patch my bones before I get back truckin’ on again. I’ll find out later today. And even when that truckin’ comes back around, I’m feeling to wander, to explore, to follow my nose. To take a several month version of an enchanted walk (okay, my car’s tires will do most of the walking, but I’m game to use my legs too!) and find out: what is waiting for me?

I have this sense that my people are somewhere but maybe we haven’t met yet.  My creative companions are just waiting for me to come through town with The Therapy Booth so they can sit by me and we can relax together. In a doodle the other day, I got this message:

Rest in your booth by the road,
by the river.
By the hills and in the trees
and
they will love you.

And thoughts come:

Can I really do this? Don’t I need to have a job? Can I really take that step, that leap, into even more unknown but into the true honoring of my heart?

And, meanwhile, can I snuggle up to the unknown, to the in-between, and give it all of my love and affection?

I write this to bring a voice to what I know a lot of people go through but doesn’t seem to be talked about all that much, and to say, I’m with you! And because I can’t write from a future where I know everything or from a past when I once knew. I can write — and draw and make up songs and color on the sidewalk — from right here, somewhere between meandering and nesting. Immediately in-between.

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