Listening in the Light.
A welcoming & reintroduction.
The pandemic made me alone, but it didn’t make me lonesome. That began years before, when the outside world was reckoning, and my inside world became quiet in search of a new kind of listening.
The pandemic wasn’t the root cause of the sadness and isolation I had been feeling; it was a flowering up above, pointing toward something I could identify. It illuminated an existing sense of disconnect already in motion, and a longing for something more purposeful, grounded in community.
Do you feel it too?
I don’t know about you, but these days I walk around like a stump in need of its full trunk. I walk around like a puzzle piece looking for a patient hand to make some picture complete. I long to be a part of yours and for you to be a part of mine. I sometimes feel cosmically separated, purposefully detached by a design not of my own making. Algorithms decide who we get to share our lives with. Time spent in person comes with heavy ghosts—unspeakable Covid death, family members estranged, a conscience full of conspiracies believed, quiet rage and distrust just beneath every family holiday dinner table.
Who in this room is a ghost? I find myself asking often when looking around.
Inside, I raise a hand.
Come haunt with me. Become a paid subscriber today.
We’ve been expected to go back to work like nothing happened, sit down at desks in bodies no longer our own, with minds somewhere else—anywhere else but here, in the house of lonesome makers. I meet up with a best friend or two, try to scrape up enough meaning and inspiration from our time together to carry us for the next few whatevers—to carry us through to another dimension. We smile, order our drinks, keep moving forward, one day at a lifetime. The trees in someone else’s forest are burning to the ground. The water isn’t drinkable over there. A man who tried and failed to overthrow the government is running for re-election. A woman bled out from a miscarriage they said was an abortion. So what if it had been? She almost died, we heard. We turned to our funny cat videos and asked them how much more caring we could possibly hold.
What if there was a place where we could feel comfortable—safe, even—in the holding?
I began to feel this disconnection years ago, before the current political climate we’re living in, before 2020’s Covid nightmare. It began somewhere specific, though I can’t quite pinpoint it. I imagine its origin is different for all of us. It’s hard to trace, like an anchor that hasn’t yet found the ocean’s floor. There was a moment during the 2016 election, when the man running for president was to debate the woman also running for president, and to antagonize her, he invited the women who had accused her husband of sexual assault to sit out in the audience during the debate. There was something about the viciousness, the cruelty—the fact that that man went on to win—that broke something in me. As if a part of me had broken off, delicate as an iceberg, and was just . . . floating away.
I was pregnant then, six months in, and I felt for the first time the full weight of a truth that had only heavily pressed against me before: that my baby girl and I were truly alone in this world. That women are truly alone in this world. It was recognition of an abandonment.
Perhaps the disconnect began there, when all reasoning and humanity seemed to go out the window in favor of political blood sport. Where women of all kinds, those vying for power and those seeking justice, were used as pawns in a game forever rigged against us.
Since that election, the waking world has felt like demented cosplay for the ulterior motives of bad people, and we’ve all been forced to play along. Social media has largely become a monetized industry of personal branding to sell us things we don’t need using versions of ourselves that aren’t real. I don’t want that kind of interaction anymore. I want to have my mind changed in a loving, powerful way and to do the same for others. I want to make mistakes and see myself grow from them and to watch others do the same. I’m hungry for radical evolution, for all of us to un-numb ourselves, safely. As my friend Dr. Mindy Nettifee of The River of What’s Happening Now would say: I’m making a case for us to feel again. And for those feelings—all of them—to have a place to be heard.
That place is right here.
I started Listening in the Dark as a way to address all of it: The dissociation from one another and ourselves, the cruelty, the longing, the fear, the rage, the shock, the joy. (Most especially the joy.) Listening in the Dark is based off my book of the same name which explores intuitive intelligence and how to reconnect with our gut, our knowing—that voice inside that helps us make decisions about our lives. And this space is an extension of that concept and desire. We will aim to not check out here, emotionally speaking. We will gather here in our anger, in our grief, in our uprising. We will share what we’ve lost and what we’ve found. What’s still missing and what never belonged. We’ll share poems, prompts, insights, notes, stories, behind-the-scenes moments from tours, TV and film sets, and so much more.
So welcome. Please introduce yourselves in the comments. Let me know three things about you:
1. Your name.
2. Whereabouts you're from or reside.
3. The last interaction you had with a large body of water and how it made you feel.
I’ll go first.
Los Angeles, California, now a Brooklyn girl.