at a pivotal moment the other day, during a pivotal phone call, i noticed a black trash bag filled with books spilled out onto the street. my hand immediately went to a copy of elizabeth gilbert’s “eat, pray, love.” now – i haven’t been one for super hyped up books and especially ones that turn into movies, so i hadn’t read the book or put it on my must-read list.. but that day – i left with that book and nothing else. and, so strangely – although not so strangely at all – as i’ve been reading it nearly every day, i know why this book appeared in my life, and more importantly, why it appeared at THAT moment.
since fall of last year, i feel as if the universe has challenged me: what’s it gonna be, girl? no more indecision. no more limbo. what is your CHOICE? what is the life YOU want to lead? more magic? have it. more happiness? have it. less anxiety? less fears? less fixation? have it, have it, have it.
LOVE is the central energy of my existence. i have loved hard and lost hard, both by my hand, the hand of others, and the hand of fate. life and death and change and transformation – it’s incredible to consider just how much has happened since THE season of metamorphosis, for me.. fall of 2011. the beginnings of my as-yet-unpublished second book. the beginnings of cracking open. the beginnings of jumping into the darkness with only the lamp swinging in my heart and my wings to catch me..
i am so grateful for what has happened, although there were so many times the pain and fear was too much to bear. times i didn’t want to get out of bed. times i felt guilty for crying, for going back, for not being able to let go. “let my joyfully streaming face/ make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise/ and blossom,” rilke wrote in the tenth elegy. everything has had a purpose.. every moment of paralyzing fear, bottomless exhaustion, soul-bending ACHE. everyone ends up where they should.. myself included. you just have to TRUST. that’s it. it all reveals itself. it always does..
what i have realized is that – it’s not about being lucky. it’s not about good things happening all the time. it’s not about – oh audrey, of course you’re happy. your life is all candy-coated rainbows.. what it IS about – is GRATITUDE. and fire. energy. and stubbornness – to create the life you dream of. it’s about CHOICES. owning up. not getting stuck in the fear-tangle of guilt and anxiety, of restlessness and entrapment. i am living for the little girl who alternately obsessed on the moment she herself and everyone she loved would leave the earth – but also constantly CREATED with no compromise, full-force of imagination and unstoppable color. whatever i wanted to be – i was. dancer, dreamer, singer, actor, writer. imaginary magazine editor or radio DJ. swingset trapeze artist.. amateur stuntman. lord knows i still have the scars..
but you know what? each one is worth it.
here, in life, now – i am going forward. making CHOICES. working with what i have. staying WILD. staying GRATEFUL. and in that moment i was almost sucked back into limbo – as i have been a zillion times and no doubt will be a zillion times more – the book arrived. the book i didn’t want to pick up. the book i hadn’t even cracked open yet. i felt the anxiety in my chest and made a choice to END it. and now as i am reading – affirmation.
the thing about life is that there are no abrupt endings. even death – it’s the end of one page and the beginning of another. we try to compartmentalize things. we try to build solid walls. we think we are totally healed and then something happens – and dismantles us. through floods of tears we frantically try to replace brick after brick to separate us from THAT emotion, THAT person, THAT fear, THAT time period. but the real truth i’ve seen? we are POROUS. we are not meant to be sealed up tight.. ever. we are meant to be a cracked open door. outstretched arms. the “joyfully streaming face.”
all we can do in life – is give love to it. acknowledge the reality of the situation. make a choice. and let it go. you hurt, and you will hurt. but it’s okay. it’s so absolutely and perfectly and achingly and beautifully – okay.
after making that choice – elizabeth gilbert asked herself today in my reading of “eat, pray, love”:
“and the question for me now is, what are MY choices to be? what do i believe that i deserve in this life? where can i accept sacrifice, and where can i not?”
these are the questions that keep me moving forward. the questions that can either fill you with fear or movement or silence.
someone very pivotal in my life said that to me on that phone call. “it seems like things in life just happen to us, but you have to take ownership of it. take ownership of your decision..” and i did.
i am choosing love. i am choosing a life of fun, magic, and happiness – filled with moments of resonance and reverence. god in the word, god in nature, god in ourselves – in MYSELF. and i am choosing to FEEL it all – all-encompassing and expansive. trusting in myself and in my decisions – even when it hurts. because sometimes, it just has to..
every single day, every step forward – my heart heals.
so it is for you, too.
every single day, every step forward –
i have no regrets.
– Featured performer at The Inspired Word open mic Queens debut! 5/7/14 [Facebook]
Check out this great interview they did with me.. honored!
– Sharing work (& runnin’ my mouth!) live on Salon Radio, a project of the International Women Artists’ Salon – tune in here 9pm 5/12/14 [Facebook]
– Check out this killer highlight reel of the last Astoria Stand Up showcase at Bohemian Hall! One of the best days.. ever. AND their upcoming party at Break for Cinco de Mayo!
– Hosting & reading at the debut of the Atlas Park readings 5/22/14 [Facebook]
– Performing at IAM (Immigrant Advancement Matters) Open Sessions at Flushing Town Hall 6/5/14 [Facebook]
– Hosting the last Boundless Tales reading of the season 6/19/14 [Website]
– Performing & curating for the Queens Council on the Arts Block Party at Kaufman Arts District 6/21/14 [Website]
“so shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. it shall answer the endless inquiry of the intellect, – what is truth? and of the affections, – what is good? by yielding itself passive to the educated Will. then shall come to pass what my poet said; ‘nature is not fixed but fluid. spirit alters, moulds, makes it. the immobility or bruteness of nature, is the absence of spirit; to pure spiritit is fluid, it is volatile, it is obedient. every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven. know then, that the world exists for you. for you is the phenomenon perfect. […] build, therefore, your own world. as fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions.” -emerson, ‘nature.’