Rediscovering Oatmeal & Sarah McLachlan

Porridge with berries (1)

It’s been a strange and emotional week for me.

Monday, 3am: I woke feverish and freezing, tossing and turning and suddenly hungry at because I stupidly hadn’t eaten dinner. I was kicking myself for not having any food in the house-I was even out of almond milk. I just felt like shit: alone, sick, cold. Extra neurotic in my feverish state.

I forced  myself to stop, to actually think rationally about what I do have,and I remembered that my pantry was pretty full. Then the thing that made me feel almost 100% better immediately was this realization: I have oatmeal, coconut milk, frozen blueberries.

I had given up on oatmeal for a while, thinking that because was gluten I shouldn’t have it. But the food brought me comfort, it’s warmth and heaviness. Satisfying.

The idea that I had just created something nutritious for myself when I thought I had nothing was the most comforting part.

The rest of the week at work I felt sick and tired a lot. I created a Facebook fan page (yes I just plugged it) and people responded well, in part because this article had been floating around in the popular section again.

Another event was the ladies night mini craft sale, about 15 of the most amazing women crammed into my friend’s little apartment, selling their wares: canned goods, adorable fabric crafts, aromatherapy bath salts, clothes from India, lovely teas. I didn’t even bring my own thing (cards) nor did she sell her jewellery; there was already so much!

Then there are all of the (ele-) friend conversations and writing pieces, the Facebook activity that keeps me sane, conversations morphing into writing ideas and writing ideas morphing into conversations.

It’s ongoing and it makes my brain and heart full with joy.

But there is this strange heaviness that comes with the fullness. I realized recently as I was listening to Sarah M. for the first time in forever (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy) that I realized where all this emotion was coming from: a sense of devotion.

This debut album that made her famous was simple but heartfelt. Nothing particularly innovative, but still just deep enough to be accessible. A real voice. Emotion. Love. Loss. Hurt. A bit of darkness.

I want to find that feminine, that voice that reaches, the key that invites people to join in and sing with ease.

The one that I have right now feels disjointed and scattered. I’m having trouble choosing one topic and sticking with it. I’m not quite sure what I need to get there, either, but somehow the oatmeal and the Sarah M. are symbolic of what is the right direction.

Anyhow, back to the idea of devotion (see? I’m all over the place). Friday night was particularly intense for me. There were these moments of bittersweet release where I just lay back and let myself be loved so tenderly and it was so so much what I needed.

And then he gave me the space to just be, and be emotionally weird and I got through that and it was okay and it made me feel better.

But the thing that hit me hard, just this morning, is this idea that devotion can come with a weight, a price.

Devotion-loving something (or wanting to love something) fiercely-can also feel heavy. So when it feels heavy, does that mean that we are we doing it for the right reasons? Is it supposed to feel heavy?

Is it scary because it’s just about love, or is it only scary if it’s really about something else?

I’m trying to love hard and love well, including showing love to this craft.

And Goddammit, it can be scary and tiresome. I suppose that not doing it, though, while less scary, is also less rewarding in the end. Let’s hope.

One thought on “Rediscovering Oatmeal & Sarah McLachlan

  1. Hey Renee,
    There is some strange synchronicity in the air as I have also just recently re-discovered oatmeal (and blueberries from my father’s farm – yes, in Malaysia!) and rediscovered a whole bunch of Sarah MacLachlan songs on my iPod. No such thing as coincidence?

    There’s a lovely song on her newer album “Laws of illusion” which is called “Loving you is easy” – which seems a beautiful response to your questions about the heaviness of devotion. A beautiful music video here: I have so so many thoughts about devotion which I’ll write / speak to you about separately. (This would be an incredible article topic and I would love to hear what you have to say about this)

    Also, I didn’t know you had a blog so am very excited to have found it. This is great – the world needs to read more of your writing. Hooray! xxx

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