Yesterday started out as a really hard day for me. When I woke up, the things that are wrong with my life weighed heavily on my heart, mesmerizing me to the point of destabilizing me.

I’ve endured these debilitating days periodically throughout my life. My usual strength seems like a sham, my resilience is a distant, invisible shore, and my many blessings have no more substance than twisting shadows. Even when I try to enumerate the specific graces of my life–because gratitude is one of my go-to tactics for self repair–they vanish before I can grip and savor them.

Then I saw some excellent tweets. Yes, of all things, the mercurial Deva of Twitter stepped in to succor me.  A blogger had mentioned my name in her “Top ten authors of 2014” list.  A Spanish man had glowingly tweeted his enjoyment of my novel “En Inmortal.”

I called my friend Jan and she patiently and lovingly talked me through my conundrums. She herself has experienced similar challenges, so she had insight to offer. She’s one of those brilliant souls with deep wisdom gleaned from living with presence and authenticity. She also has, oh, a million talents. I pay attention when she talks. Jan understands about pain and love and life and longing.

Gently, at one point in our conversation, Jan said, “You see things so clearly, Traci. That’s your sin.” Then she explained her meaning, and I gained new clarity.

My lovely friend Lori emailed me “So much love” and invited me to email back. I poured my heart out to her, and she emailed back with such fierceness on my behalf. Her empathy is amazing. It moved me and humbled me. And I got another dose of it today on Skype, and today we could laugh together, too. Just seeing her bright face lightened everything.

Beautiful Michelle Skyped in today, uplifting my day with her piquant presence and all the glamorous goings on of her life. She’s a canny, perceptive soul and she listened closely when I explained what bothered me. She had practical advice that was specially tailored for Traci, and no, it wasn’t drinking red wine, though we giggled most rambunctiously about that.

Aren’t giggles just the best medicine?

So from an inauspicious morning flowed two days of kindness from people I love who love me. That’s been the biggest learning of these middle years: to fill my life with people who love me and support me, people I can trust. I wish I’d known long ago to do so. Maybe I felt I didn’t deserve them.

There was affirmation, too, in the form of the “Best of authors” Blog list and the Spanish gentleman’s tweet–and that always helps.

For anyone who reads this post, I wish that you may experience the same kindness and love and affirmation, when your heart trembles.

For a pix to accompany this blog: FiberOptic Fairy II, our tree topper.  Because she’s whimsical and unintentionally funny, and earnest and sweet, and full of holiday spirit. And I’m grateful to her, the way I’m grateful to my friends, that she holds her place so gracefully.

Days of Inspiration

 

 


Traci L. Slatton

Author Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published author of a dozen books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

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