• The Dishwasher Knob Came Off

    The dishwasher knob came off in my hand.  Not surprising.  For more than a year, it had been falling off.  Not surprising.  For more than 23 years, it had been twisted and turned.  Not surprising.

    And I panicked.

    The dishwasher and I had existed in this space for most of my adult life.  Existed between cycles of clean and dirty.  As a new bride, stepmother and mother to growing boys, through upheavals and madness, and times of calm, to a final spin of divorce and grown children gone on to their new worlds and unknowns.

    Now I stood alone.

    Existing with the knob in my hand, in a place of no direction and no intention.  It was about more than just replacing the dishwasher.  It was about living — staying and living. Hadn’t given it much thought all along.

    I wanted to run, to open the door and move on, to rinse off the years of fear, frustration and sadness.  To abandon the feeling of being abandoned.

    And I wanted to stay.

    I longed to create and make it a home, full of fun and inspiration for others to just be.  Well, to do that I would need to be brave and strong and in love with ME, here in this broken down home on Oldham Pond.

    As I looked around, I knew the time had come, a new dishwasher, a new kitchen, and a whole new life. And I was overwhelmed.

    Where to begin?

    Start Close In

    Start close in,
    don’t take the second step
    or the third,
    start with the first
    close in,
    the step
    you don’t want to take.

    Start with
    the ground
    you know,
    the pale ground
    beneath your feet,
    your own
    way of starting
    the conversation.

    Start with your own
    give up on other
    people’s questions,
    don’t let them
    smother something

    To find
    another’s voice
    your own voice,
    wait until
    that voice
    becomes a
    private ear
    to another.

    Start right now
    take a small step
    you can call your own
    don’t follow
    someone else’s
    heroics, be humble
    and focused,
    start close in,
    don’t mistake
    that other
    for your own.

    Start close in,
    don’t take
    the second step
    or the third,
    start with the first
    close in,
    the step
    you don’t want to take.

    ~ David Whyte ~
    used with permission*

    I found David Whyte’s poem “Start Close In” and used it as my remodel plan.  “Start close in…” start from who you are.  And who am I?

    I’ve lived with myself 24/7/365 for years and I get tangled in my head when asked “What do you want?” Because?  I don’t want to be wrong? Make a mistake? Be different from others? Not belong?

    As I read the poem, my tangled thoughts still and my heart opens.

    David’s poem encourages, ”start with the first thing”.  Faced with creating a new life in an old space, I start. I start with what I’ve known from my open-hearted friends, “You have so many ideas.”  Yes, I do.  I love possibilities. Make it real?

    “Start with the ground beneath your feet.” Kitchens with working dishwashers require real.  Staying, more specifically, choosing to stay requires real – real faith.  Outcomes are not guaranteed.  Being me, in my unique space, in my own way, is my need, my real need.  And it requires faith.  Wanting and getting what others have doesn’t require faith, it just requires funds. Use “your own voice”, your real “humble, focused voice”.  Your dream.

    For years, I’ve imagined a place where people could come and do their best life work; write, compose, dance, eat, laugh, share and exchange ideas; most of all live, love and have fun.

    “Start with your own question” Could this home be that space?  Is it big enough? New enough?  Fancy enough? Who’s to say?  “Give up on other people’s questions”

    David’s poem, “Start Close In”, was the guide to my remodel plan – my life remodel plan.  Set a direction.  Create an intention.   Make it real in the world.

    Today, I’m the CEO (Chief Enjoyment Officer) of the Fish Ranch Think Tank.  It’s a place full of possibilities on the shores of Oldham Pond with the finest kitchen, and filled to the brim with living, loving and fun.

    What will I do next?  Start Close In…

    What will you do?  Right now!  Start close in.  Write it in the comments!

    Thank you, David Whyte.

    *used with permission from Many Rivers Press, Langley, Washington.

    David Whyte, River Flow ©Many Rivers Press