If you’ve ever traveled the tube in London, you’ll hear an automated voice say, “mind the gap” when the door opens, reminding passengers not to fall into the crevice, that space between the train and the platform. Today’s special guest, blogger Elizabeth Martin, from mindingthegaps.life, talks with Vivian about the opportunity she had to take a “gap year” many years after getting married and having a family…
An inspiring story of taking the difficult path, letting go of many material things, and re-locating to a new part of the country for the pure adventure of it. Learn about her gift of inspiring and leading others in the non-profit arena which led to an award at the White House. By her own barometer, Elizabeth is exactly where she needs to be, has no idea what happens next and is as happy as she ever has been. Enjoy the episode. She is amazing.
Gap year? Sabbatical? I think this is yet another opportunity wasted on young people who cannot possibly appreciate the decadence of time off from routines and responsibilities. Midlife is when a gap year has the greatest impact and the most valuable rewards.
Elizabeth Martin and I talk about her decision to take a break and how she spent that time.
Every year on New Year’s Day my friends gather to make vision boards. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years. At first it was just for fun, but each year it became more meaningful to reflect on what your vision for the upcoming year/years and put use a collage of magazine cuttings to articulate the vision. It is an organic process that often reveals its power only upon reflection, years later.
The banner at the top of the website is my vision board for 2018. I really was halfhearted about the idea of travel and a gap year, but it still became the focus for the board. Lo and behold I write this from rural Italy less than five months later.
The photo of the writing on the glass is the vision of the owner of the property where I am residing for the next month. The building is from either the 1500s or the 1600s. It’s been used as everything a pumphouse for irrigation to housing five families during World War II.
Translated his poem reads:
One day from here you’ll see a great garden crowded with plants and flowers. One day from here you’ll admire what the earth and a seed can create. One day from here, not far off this big dream will take you by the hand. One day from here you’ll stop to observe the story of a garden that you have to share with everyone.
It is still a vision and it is my job to be a “helper.” I truly believe it will happen because it was put on down on glass. Once articulated, visions become reality–be it personally or professionally.
My first morning in rural Italy started with walking the goats. My job today was to photograph the 500-1000 different plants for documentation. The food fresh and amazing. A book to edit. Art in every room. Is this supposed to be Ellyn Ruhlmann’s internship?!
Today marks a new chapter in my life. I’ve sold my house to a friend. Put everything in storage, sent the dog to live with dear friends in Michigan and I’m off to Italy to work for a month at a retreat center. I’ll spend the summer in Colorado and Wisconsin with family and let life write the next few chapters.
Thanks to all who made this possible. Thank you to my dearest friends and family. Sorry I didn’t tell you all sooner but this all came together in a very busy six weeks!
After the storm, and the sideways bluster of the rain,
after you had opened the door in the falling light
and stood upright in the shelter of the dripping thatch;
after the goodbye and the tears and the turning away,
there was that far, horizontal, ocean gleam across
the threshold of the West as if keeping the dark at bay,
a last farewell after your Wake, not a closing but an
invitation, not a last light but a glimmer of a meeting to be,
something that had happened before and would happen
again, seen now in the light of your going as the sheer,
miracle and gifted ordinariness of evening light, something
I realized you were now wondering at through my eyes,
something we were now seeing together from that invisible
foundation that waits on the other side of sadness,
something that had once been shared and would be again,
and then from the bright falling nowhere in the center
of the dying sun, a risen thought, almost spoken
between us, ‘goodbye for now’, and you, raising your hand
as if you’d see us again, making a way through the waves
and the sea-light, and the distant miles, into the west.
GOODBYE FOR NOW
THE BELL AND THE BLACKBIRD
Poetry by David Whyte, April 2018