This evening our London Legacy Tour, celebrating the life and films of Vincent Price in the United Kingdom, drew to a close, and I said goodbye to a wonderful group of people with whom I shared the last five days! What fun we had together. . .it was very hard to see them go!
It has been an extraordinary week for me, sharing my love for my father and his legacy of yes with people who came from Argentina, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the United States and all over the United Kingdom to be a part of this wonderful adventure.
I have never been very good at goodbyes, probably because my life has held so many of them. Tears always threaten, though I rarely let anyone see them. This week there were so many, it almost felt overwhelming. But instead of succumbing to the melancholy, I turned to joy, and felt only gratitude for the time we had, and hope for continued connection in the future.
I spent the beginning of the week with Mike and Ree Callan, two incredible new friends in Ireland, who welcomed me with open arms and took two days off from their busy lives to be with me. From the moment I got off the plane close to midnight after landing in pea soup in Dublin after a four-hour fog delay, I felt at home with them. We laughed and ate and talked and versed our way through two glorious days on the Irish Sea and in Dublin. My Celtic soul sang to be with them and in a country with which I so deeply resonate.
For the past ten days, almost everyone who has introduced me -- for a talk or public appearance, a radio or TV interview -- has referred to me as a poet. The funny thing is that nowhere in my bio does it say that, and though I love poetry, and post a poem I love and a photograph I have taken every day on Facebook, I have not written a poem in 30 years.
On Wednesday morning, as I stood by the window of my hotel room in Ireland looking out on the beach below, I felt a poem begin to surface. I began writing it on the plane to London, after having a good cry at another leave-taking.
By Friday, it had finished itself, and I quietly posted it on Facebook.
This evening, our bus got stuck in standstill traffic outside London, and with my blog still unwritten, I asked my wonderful travel companions and dear friends Lucy and Nancy if they thought it was OK if I just posted the poem I had written, instead of trying to finish the blog post I had started.
It is 9:30 here in London, and I'm averaging four hours of sleep a night and the other 20 hours on the go. I'm running on fumes, so there's no telling what would have come out. I asked them to read the poem, and they reflected back to me that it was the perfect poem for our goodbyes.
I started this daily practice of joy in the spring to begin healing the workaholism that was gradually whittling away at my life. The joy I have found, as well as what I've uncovered about the lifelong habits that have blocked it, has amazed me.
Why did I stop writing poetry? Because there was a voice in my head that said I could never be good enough. Basically, I was afraid.
If there is one thing my joyful practice of posting photographs, showing up to life, finding the little things that make me smile, taking my walks, speaking my truth, and having spontaneous adventures has taught me, it is that good enough is a ridiculous red herring taking us off the scent of the trail that keeps leading us back to who we really are in joy, in spirit, in connection with one another, in love.
It's that YES again. . . trumping fear every time.
There is no better reason for me to write poetry than that I love it. So, with some of chutzpah that gave me the courage to begin writing this blog about practicing joy when I didn't have a clue what the outcome would be, and brought a group of people (some of whom faced big fears and hurdles to get here) to come together in London to participate in the legacy of yes. . .here is the first poem I have written in 30 years.
May this tiny act of courage embolden each of you to say yes to something that you love!
My Last Morning in Malahide