Something New: Day 7 – Exposed

Welcome to Day 7 of my challenge to try something new/creative for 30 days.

As I lay in bed this morning, listening to the lovely rain pattering against my window, I remembered one of the things my dear friend, Ruth Weeks, suggested I try for this 30-day challenge:

Dance naked in the rain.

Dancing in the rain at Grandma's house. (I'm the goofy one in the middle.)

Dancing in the rain at Grandma’s house. (I’m the goofy one in the middle.)

Though it’s something I’ve done before as a child, I’ve never done it as an adult, and it sounded like a marvelous thing to do. There’s a Kenny Chesney song I love called “Something Sexy About the Rain.”

There’s something sexy about the rain
She said as it came pouring down
It feels like kisses on my skin
She spread her arms and spun around
In a summer island storm
In a field of sugarcane
She taught me how and showed me why

Kisses on my skin. Only two things to prevent me from doing it for this challenge:

  1. I’ve already done it before — as a child.
  2. I live in the middle of a big city and I’m not about to do it where God and everybody can see.

So, that left me with what to do for my challenge today. And I decided instead, I’d expose myself in a different way. Because, my next thought, after realizing I couldn’t do it in the middle of Dallas was to think, “Well, I could have done it at the farm.” (For those who don’t know, “the farm” is where I lived prior to my divorce in early 2013.)

Next thought?

Yeah, but I can’t write about that. It’s too personal. [My ex-husband] wouldn’t want me to write about it.

I can’t tell you how often worrying about what someone will think of something I’m going to write blocks my writing. And there, came my idea about what to do today that’s new:

If you can’t be exposed by dancing naked in the rain, dance naked with your words.

Isn’t that what we as writers should do–be honest with our writing? Isn’t that what connects our readers–sharing the experience of something personal, vulnerable?

So, here goes.

I loved the farm. I hated the farm.

I loved that it was so far in the country that there was only one stop sign on the way to work. A traffic jam was a herd of cattle that had somehow found the one place in the fence line where the barbed wire had broken.

I hated that it took thirty minutes to get to the nearest grocery story. Or that if I realized I forgot something once I got into town, I’d either have to do without, or take 90 minutes out of my day to retrieve it and return to the office.

I loved the sounds of the farm–the whisper of wind through the trees, the wind chimes we’d placed all over, the songs of robins and cardinals in the day and the serenade of crickets and frogs at night, the mournful howl of coyotes in the distance, the hooting correspondence I’d have with an owl.

I hated the bugs. The flies that tried to spoil many a happy hour we had outside, not to mention the chiggers and ticks that covered me when I worked in the garden, even though I sprayed myself with detested Deet.

I loved the gardens, the pastel pinks, purples and yellows of spring and the vibrant golds and reds of autumn. I even loved the desolate white of winter, a time to rest inside by the wood stove.

I hated the weeds. Oh, I supposed I didn’t mind them in the spring, when they would first start to grow. They were easy enough to keep up with then, and it was always a good excuse to go outside and work. But by August . . . I hated the weeds and in the hot humidity, they usually won the battle that had gone on for months through spring and summer.

I loved walking with Jubie and Bear. It’s probably what I miss most about the farm–experiencing my dogs’ joy when they knew it was time for a walk, watching them chase each other through the woods, fight for a stick in the pond.

In the past, I probably would have only written about the things I loved about the farm, and there were many things. You see now that it’s true there were things I didn’t like, too, though it is what I loved that I reflect on.

Which brings me back to what started this post — dancing naked in the rain. To talk about what I didn’t like about the farm feels exposed, an imperfection, perhaps, that I didn’t like everything about the farm, or my life there. But nothing in life is perfect.

The following excerpt is from The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning (Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham)

…don’t fight the truth of yourself. The self “comes clean” when it’s most exposed, most vulnerable to its own imperfection.

In this post, I’ve come clean about a part of me. Small though it may be, talking about the things I didn’t like about my life at the farm was something I wouldn’t have let on about in the past because someone I loved didn’t want to hear about it.

But seriously, do we love everything about anything?

So you see, in a metaphorical sense, today I did dance naked in the rain.

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11 Responses to Something New: Day 7 – Exposed

  1. Ruthie says:

    Oh, Jan.
    I love this.

  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    I believe you were successful, young lady. And the question you pose about whether we love everything about anything is provoking… and the premise upon which you thought of things like your farm. These days, copious amounts of negative thoughts parade through my mind about this country I love… or is it loved?

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Koji, I know what you mean about our country, but I look at it two different ways. One, like child of ours, it’ll go through it’s ups and downs, and still we have high hopes and stand behind it. Also, if I ever wonder if I still love my country, it only takes someone from another country to defame it for me to feel passion for it again. Thank you, as always, for your comments.

  3. Anything or anyone of significance that we love is usually complex, so probably we don’t love everything about it or them. If love doesn’t override the dislike (or hate), then it’s time to let go. I think expectations or constraints that prevent us from admitting to ourselves what we dislike can be damaging.

  4. On my phone so I can’t say much, but good for you. I wouldn’t be dancing naked on the rain either. 🙂

    janet

  5. Steve says:

    I love the idea of the self coming clean when most exposed and vulnerable. It’s where we find our strength, where we surrender, and where God is most likely to touch us. Thanks for being vulnerable.

  6. Beth Carter says:

    Nothing is perfect. I enjoyed hearing both the good and bad about the farm. I just wish I had seen it! Nice post. Now, I want to dance naked in the rain!!!

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