Casting Lights Forward

Yesterday I had a long conversation with a friend for his podcast (airing in August) during which we discussed partnership and care work. Since his partner is coming up on some heavy medical treatments, there was a moment where I reminded him to plan ahead to take care of himself as well. Fortunately he already has a plan for that in place, but in our discussion we talk about how, if you know that you have to walk through a dark dark patch, you should throw some lights forward on the path. Things that you can look forward to and aim for. Even if life takes a left turn before you get to the light, aiming for it still gives purpose and focus to your travels.

I’m thinking about this as we’re in the last few weeks of prep before Gen Con. Having that event to plan for has given focus and structure to our entire year in ways that are really beneficial. But I’ve also been doing the same thing for myself on a much smaller scale. I’ve discovered small, local (usually free) events that I can attend and look forward to for a few days or a week. I’ve been meaning to write each of these up in detail, but life keeps slipping by me.

One of them was a local African Heritage Festival in the courtyard area of our local mall. There were vendors, performances, and food. I got the chance to bruise my hands while participating in the joy of a drum circle. (I need better drumming techniques.)

I also took myself to a new art museum in my town. It is hosted by Utah Valley University and resides inside a mansion that was donated and renovated for the purpose. The current exhibit is a deliberate celebration of multiculturalism.

And sometimes I simply go out into my garden to discover the small beauties that exist there, like this thirty year old fence that has managed to grow lichen.

Next week I get to see friends during the Writing Excuses Recording sessions. Soon after that I’ve found a local Water Lantern Festival that I have tickets for. Then Gen Con looms large.

I’m not currently in a truly dark patch, but even in a life that is good, there is value in bright lights to aim and plan for. I’m going to try to retain the practice even as the seasons change.