I began this blog right after my 30th birthday. At the time I was in survival mode. I spent a lot of my first few years in the Pacific Northwest feeling that way. It wasn’t until recently that I admitted, to myself, my partner and my therapist, that I had been depressed since I left my family, home and community far, far behind. Fortunately, I am not one for admitting defeat no matter how long it seems I’ve battled. I had obstacles to over come and magic to rekindle.
I know that magic is a somewhat loaded word. Here’s what I mean when I use it (most of the time): Wonder-full. Awe-some. Inspiring. Exciting. Naturally mystical. Dammit, now I sound like a Bob Marley loving ding-dong.
There’s another word: Despair. That word helps my definition. Despair means the complete loss or absence of hope. Despair means to be separated from the joy of living.
Life is amazing. Life is. Not your life, or my life, or Justin Beiber’s life, but Life is amazing. Whether or not we are witness to it – it is happening and it is miraculous. That is magic. Witnessing, touching, feeling, being breathless because of Life is magic innate. When we connect to the soaring heart of Life, of the creation of it all, we are in a magic place.
I used to walk the streets of Chicago and yearn so deeply for that feeling that I’d have tears falling down my silent face and bitterness trying to rock my heart up. I used to stare so hard at the grasses and tough weeds of the city cracking up through the sidewalks that my heart felt like it was breaking. I used to dream of camp-smoke, starry clear skies, and crickets. It was wrenching. In that time I wrote about these feelings-inside in a different blog. That blog is called Subterranean Fire and it’s tagline is: “Nourish beginnings, let us nourish beginnings. Not all things are blest, but the seeds of all things are blest. The blessing is in the seed.” (Muriel Rukeyser wrote that.) That is where my mind was at the time. Somewhere within I was biding my time until something else began. I was learning and gathering what was going to be important to me later, but I didn’t quite know my destination. I didn’t know when the journey would begin, why, to where or how. I just knew it was important to continue putting kindling on my internal fire until the time came to grab the bellows and go.
The idea for Shana Rose Up was loosely forming and it crystallized one night when I was drinking with a homie who would turn 30 six days after me. She said this: “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life; all I know is that what I’m doing right now [effing] sucks and I [effing] hate it.”
She triggered me, at last. I had not been taking responsibility for my own feelings and my own needs. I had been waiting for things to happen when what I needed to do was get off my rear, stop making excuses and get to work on making happen what I needed to be happening. One way I might do this, I thought, was to begin documenting my successes, rather than my needs and desires. I needed to get out from those depths I was in. I enjoy word play. My middle name is Rose. I needed to do that, to rise and to bloom. And so the title of the blog: Shana Rose Up.
I love the idea of people doing something every day for a certain amount of time. I love those stories. But I finally know myself better and I know that for me to say I’d do this every day for a year would be a set up for failure. So I took the idea and turned it into a boundary called 366 days of 30. My drinking buddy and I talked about this. We wanted to make something every day of the year. It was almost February when we talked of this, so the year began at 30 (for me, February 1). I love alliteration too: three-hundred-sixty-six days of thirty felt good in my mouth-mind.
I do create everyday, but I do not always post about it. I post when time allows and inspiration cooperates. Sometimes I post several times a week, sometimes its less than once a month. I’m not here to impress y’all with my prolific abilities. I’m here to make something beautiful, to document and to pay tribute to magic Life.