Space + Time

If there’s anything we Americans want more of, it’s space and time. We want bigger homes, more land, high ceilings, more bedrooms, more time, longer weekends, more freedom… I have told myself for years that I was a slave to space and time, these two universal substances I had no control over. They were my boundaries, my obstacles, my setbacks.

Last week, when I missed posting, I got a big dose of one of the universe’s lessons: space and time are the same thing, and what we experience of them is what we’ve created.

Since moving to Roanoke, I’ve been desperately trying to create a morning routine — and failing miserably.  Meditation, exercise, pre-10am shower times…they’ve all disappeared. Instead, I’ve been sleeping until 7am (late if you consider I used to get up at 4:40am) and then working almost from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep. I’ve been feeling stressed and irritable and depressed.

I’ve been doing it to myself.

I let space and time control me. I felt subject to its limitations, bound by them.

So this week, I’ve decided to reclaim my power and to create space and time in my life — for the things I love to do, for the people I love, for time just to breathe and be. I already feel happier and more free.

Have you ever let space and time control you? How did you break those chains? (Extra advice welcome!)

Lost + Found

After every breakup, I have wondered how much more I can take — how much more disappointment, how many more secrets, how much more loss of identity I can handle.

That was the past.

In the two and a half years since my last significant relationship ended, I have discovered a self that doesn’t need a relationship but wants one. The woman I am now is so much wiser. She can be strong and soft. She can embrace contradiction. She sees into the heart of situations, into the darkness of her emotions. She has learned to summon forces from within that most people don’t know lie quietly there. And she knows that this relationship will be so different from all the others because she can’t lose herself anymore.

Here is the story:

He saw me from behind tinted glass in the early spring at an archery tournament. I had no idea he was there. We both remember the moment, though he wasn’t in mine.

A month and a half later, our paths crossed more officially. We spoke briefly in the woods of southwest Virginia. I remember the hat he wore, how he sat on the side of the mountain. When he was close, I pointed out how much alike our bows were. Months later, he told me he waited around for me that day, hoping to talk to me more, but it only a few words we exchanged that day.

Two weeks later, he walked past me in Pennsylvania. I remember the way he looked at me, but he didn’t say anything.

Thanks to Facebook, we started talking — about music, our non-archery hobbies, our lives. He was nice, we got along, but I wasn’t entirely sure what to think of him yet.

In Ohio, we shot an archery course together. We began to hover around each other, as if caught in one another’s gravity field. (Later, we determined this was technically a first date, since he paid for me.)

There was a 10-hour drive together to Indiana. And our orbits drew closer. There was something between us, and it was obvious.

And then he said he didn’t want me, not now. I nearly walked away. But one more encounter revealed how his fears were holding back. I think he decided to surrender because from that point on, he was there for me. After a car accident. While I was traveling for two weeks on the West Coast. During the two months of moving preparations and moving and settling.

Tony is exactly what I need right now. Sometimes, we call people into our lives without knowing it because they can teach us exactly what we need to learn. He teaches me, often unknowingly, and I teach him too, because that’s precisely what I’m meant to do.

It feels so different from every past relationship. Stronger.  More vibrant. I exist in relation to him, in relation to others, but now I know I exist first and foremost in relation to myself. I’m not going anywhere this time. And that allows me to be more than I’ve ever been and to love without boundaries.

The Lost Colony

Growing up, it was always the ghost stories, the mysteries, the tales of fantastical times and other worlds that I loved the most. They sparked my imagination. They opened my eyes to the wonders around me.

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Sometime in the 20th century, the mysteries of the world-before seemed to disappear. There’s no doubt a historical explanation for it all: the psyche of the time, the rise of science, the flood of technology into daily life. But in our quest to learn the world’s inner workings, in our search to demystify, new mysteries have arisen. Perhaps it is our current limited understanding, but I suspect something more: I think the world knows we need mysteries.

For me, the adventure of life is in the unknown, in the moment, in the surroundings that whisper secrets to us.

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The lost colony of Roanoke is one such secret. It was one of the first English settlements in the New World, and it was in Roanoke that Virginia Dare, the first newborn of English descent, was born. Three short years later, the colonists had disappeared, leaving their homes abandoned. Where had the inhabitants disappeared to? Why was there no indication or writings about what had taken place?

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Over the past months, I have felt as if I were one of those colonists — disappearing without word or writings. And it is even stranger that I find myself now in a city with the same name, nestled at the foot of the Appalachian mountains. This is not the lost colony, but I wonder if I am still a bit lost.

But I’m in the process of finding. I have already discovered so much this summer: my voice, my passion, my strength… But it was my heart that called me here, and I feel as the first settlers of the lost colony might have, stepping into a vast new landscape filled with unknowns. And I have never known such beauty.

Gypsy Blood

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There’s a storm that’s been gathering in me — I’ve sensed it for some months. It’s come in small surges, receding each time. But that distance thunder has been there, and I’ve been counting the seconds between the lightning strikes and their snaps.

It wasn’t until last week that I was asked to stand still that the full rush came over me, and I felt it begin to move me.

The wind…it’s calling me. I hear my name carried on it, as it pushes me and knots my hair.

My gypsy blood is hot right now, and I need all of its magic. I need its electricity, its potency, its power.

New places are coming, but right now, all I know is the rain.

{photograph by Brent Thomson, used under Creative Commons license}

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.