My husband had a meeting of guitar minds. I don't know what it's like, he's there now for his first session. It's at the Puffin Foundation in Teaneck, NJ. Afraid of being home alone due to my (I believe) hormonal crazies and dreary rain, I thought I'd go along, find a coffee shop (please, not Starbucks) and write. I haven't written anything but cover letters for resume submissions in a very long time. My head is rusty and cobwebbed.
Fun, found-material sculptures encircled the parking lot at Puffin. Instead of a quick drop off, I parked the car. Following the laughter of children and perusing the art, we found a map to a reclaimed wetland that butted up against residences and the NJ Turnpike. A favorite place to go is a bird sanctuary/restored wetland surrounded by the NJ Turnpike. Yes, this is urban NJ. My husband pointed out a labyrinth in the park and off I went, tromping along the muddy paths in "I'll be sitting in a coffee shop" shoes. 10' from the parking lot the birds - a cacophony of birds - almost drowned out the traffic flow nearby. It was easy to tune it out. Birds darted away from me as I walked. I slowed my pace - hoping to not scare them and be able to link song and bird.
I strolled along the Red path and did not come to the intersection with the Green path, which held the labyrinth. Apparently, in my rush to start off, I turned the wrong way. I feel like I've been doing that a lot lately. Running down paths in search of my dreams, expectations, some pay, and finding only a winding road leading nowhere except to a congested, chaotic highway. I persevered along my path in search of the labyrinth (the Turtle Labyrinth by the way) just as I continue down my paths tripping over stones, slipping on wet leaf litter. Nothing to show for it but soggy shoes.
I found the Red path, the other side of it and followed it around, past the 5 Pillars, a row of large tunnels painted with the history of NJ starting with the Native Americans. A dad and his two kids were playing hide and seek in the tunnels. As I walked further and could hear his roar answered by crazy giggles.
The park was small, but I had seemed to be circling myself. The other day while cleaning the basement I came across a lot of my old journals. I began reading, 70's 80's 90's, chronicling my college years, move to CA, burgeoning and discarded Hollywood career, my husband (I discovered that I realized I loved him for sure and totally on Jan 19, 1985, my sister's birthday.) But most of the entries were weighted down with dissatisfaction, lost dreams, no sense of self or self-confidence, and my weight. Ugh, the weight, the "I'm going to start exercising... not eat...." Really, still? It made me so sad to read the same crap I spill out to my journal now. I seem to be circling around myself.
I found the intersection of the Green path and the Red path. The labyrinth sat off to one side. I entered. I could not find the "T" stone where I was supposed to start, so I just started from where I was. I walked without expectation; following the stones then following the ground between the stones, then back again. Occassionally if walked the same section again, but it didn't matter. I walked to the center and sat, clearing my mind. I started out again, thinking I might find the "T" stone working backwards. I didn't. It didn't matter. I walked, circling and circling, around myself. One foot in front of the next, finding my way.
I cleaned my shoes off on a curb and sat in my car staring over the park - a grey day, damp and soggy from days of rain. The birds' songs continued. I knew I would be back next Sunday when my husband met with the guitar folks again. I would walk check out the Blue path and walk the labyrinth in my haphazard way, finding my way to the center again. Cause this is what I do and how I do it. Each foot in front of the other and I find my way.