It came to me very early in the morning, just as I was waking up, the words *Brave Days* kept running through my mind. I have had months of being anxious and afraid and I have been trying to have a more positive outlook, to look for the joy in life, to shore myself up to face what comes, and all of a sudden there it was, Brave Days, what I am searching for, and what my message should be. But the very reason that I need to embrace the notion of brave days, living with bipolar disorder, was my undoing. Rather than sit with it, mull it over, spend time holding it close and private by nightfall I had created a podcast called Brave Days and imagined a whole business to go along with it. Mentoring, an ecourse, even a book. I was in the middle of what I call Bipolar Spinning and by the time I put the podcast up in myriad places I was spinning so hard I was dizzy and panicking. In a heartbeat I deleted the podcast and took notices of it down wherever they had gone up. I grabbed on to the fleeting edge of my sanity and slumped down in my chair.
Grace comes in various packages and last night it was my dear friend Bekah who talked me off the ledge so to speak. She was gentle and kind and helped me realize that what I needed to do was allow time for this little seed of an idea to grow, if it was going to, as if pregnant, she said wisely. We had a good conversation and I credit her with saving me last night because I was in a sorry state. I am world’s better today. Today I am sitting outside of the experience shaking my head as I do after coming through a time like this, and I am looking at what it all means.
This post is not about what kind of business Brave Days might become, it is about my own brave days, each one where I face my demons and somehow manage to hold on. Every morning I get up not knowing what kind of day I will have, trembling a little, and I go once more into the breech, the hours ahead that fan out before me from morning until night, and I look for ways that I might tend the hours and be present to the moment at hand.
What are these brave days now? I am going through a process of investigation into a way that I might be able to stay in my home and to that end have taken the house off the market. These are uncertain days, but they are better than the limbo days when the house was on the market. I hope not to have to list it again. Now I am imagining a future for myself if I get to stay here. I see myself and my dogs living here quietly, a gentle life, tending a garden that I will have to rebuild because my garden was decimated and cleared out before the house went on the market. All of my garden art, my large garden in pots, everything now gone because I worried how I would get rid of it all quickly enough if the house sold and I had to be out by closing. Save a few things in the ground most of the garden was in pots and it is fairly barren here, and at 62 I don’t have the stamina to start over and build the kind of garden that I had here, but I can make a small pot garden on my deck and the dogs and I can enjoy the yard and the few things that grow there still.
Brave days will find me finding my way back to my painting put aside the end of last summer when I was immersed in starting my then new zine Pastiche. I am working on the last issue of Pastiche now, it will go out September 1, but I have missed my painting terribly and it’s time to start again. I feel afraid and shy because it has been a year since I was painting regularly and I wonder how I can begin again. I can face it as I will this life I must build and forge ahead with as much courage as I can muster. My own brave days will take me back to the canvas.
Brave days are learning to live a life with perhaps fewer resources than I have ever lived on but learning that the things that must go will be replaced by a richness of spirit and I intend to flesh out my income in any way that I can with small projects from home and in ways I have not yet imagined. Brave days are the days ahead that I cannot yet see but the days that will bring an abundance that I believe is there. There has been, since my house burned down in February 2014, a series of Phoenix times, the crashing and burning over and over again, literally with the house that terrible night, and in the aftermath in my life for the last couple of years. It is time for the Phoenix to rise and I feel her getting ready to spread her wings. She is here, she is strong, she is ready to take flight. Brave days indeed.
And so now I move slowly and quietly and take this little idea into my heart. What it may blossom into I’ve no idea, and perhaps it just came to me to show me the way into my own days with courage and fortitude, grace and no little amount of chutzpah. Brave days are ahead of me, I am walking toward them now.