Curation — The Process
I have been thinking about this word for awhile now. It comes to me at weird times, like when my mind is at rest, when it is working, when I am driving the car. It even came to me one time in one of those weird Facebook puzzles that tell you the first three words are your immediate future.
I am pretty sure that curation wasn’t really supposed to be in the selection. But that was the third word I saw. Odd.
So I am a believer when things come to you repeatedly, there is a lesson trying to gain our interest. The universe is trying to get our attention through repetition. And I have learned through some pretty painful situations, that reality always wins so I might as well allow that which is coming to just come and it is so much better when I come from a place of mindfulness.
So finally after being plagued (ok, that is a strong word) dogged would be a better choice, by the word curation, I finally took myself on a walk and thought about it. Turned it over in my mind, allowed it to permeate my consciousness instead of demanding that it stay on the periphery of my thoughts.
And this is what came to me:
We curate a life.
We are not happenestancers. We are livers. We are beings in motion. We are here doing this life and we either allow it all to happen to us or we become curators of this life lived. Who is in it, items in our home, friends we connect with, dreams we dream, ideas and thoughts we allow to flourish and blossom. We are the curators of our lives.
I also believe that there has to be divine guidance or I will end up with a collection of weird ass shit that isn’t lovely or appreciated or making of any kind of sense. I have a concrete example for reference: my life before sobriety. It was a hodge podge of crap that wasn’t really me, stuff that I thought I was supposed to have, people who just showed up in my life and I never stopped to consider whether they added much of anything, I just accepted them like one might accept a couch from a dead relative…don’t really want it but it is too much effort to get rid of it now, so might as well make the best of it.
But when one is curating, one is selecting, one is choosing, one is awake and alive and integral in all that is going on around us. Curation is a process that requires our participation, our active participation. Curation is something else entirely.
It isn’t about collecting things, or people, or animals. It is about allowing the things, people, ideas and dreams we collect to reflect our innermost selves. And in order to do that, we must spend quite a bit of time figuring out who exactly we are. And that is often, not a lot of fun. In fact, it is painful. But like all the growing up, and guiding toward becoming the best version of yourself, you wake up one day and can see the efforts of your curation.
Some of us will wake up and see that what we really have is a rag bag of beings, things, jobs, ideas, dreams and the like that really do not reflect who we are, or maybe reflect it a little too well…
I have disinterestedly selected a lot of things/beings in my life. I have dysfunctionally selected even more. I have been and continue to be stymied by the traumas of my past and their tentacles that reach out into present day and fuck up my relations with myself, God and all of you.
Curation is the process by which I get to know all that about me, and then the intentional, careful selection of what remains, what comes, what stays, what persists and what is freed.
This is a God directed process. Me alone, curate my life into shambles. A misdirection of impulses and instincts gone haywire until all that is left of me and my life a sniveling, heap of alcoholic humanity that was once a promising life. A being whose potential is laid open and bare on bar room floors everywhere. Whiskey split and woman wrecked. Beer drenched and blood soaked remnants of who I could have become but for my complete unwillingness to deal with all that has happened to me.
God is curating me. But only with my cooperation. It is a joint venture, a partnership. I can only be led to greatness with the understanding that my job will always be footwork. God gets the glory and credit for results. God and I are curating a life, mine. When I take over, I find myself destroyed, as soon as I allow God to take over, well, look at what God has done with me. Today, my life is exemplary of what recovery and God can do with a hopeless drunk whose best efforts land her with only a will that is bent on self destruction. Mired in a disease that is ripe with conflict, that wants me dead but will be satisfied with me drunk.
Each day we wake to a choice, shall we live or die today? I know a lot of people who are full of life but instead live each day as if they are dying. Instead of living life, knowing that death is inevitable, and living it anyway. To the best of our ability, to the limits of our faith, first in God, then in ourselves and then in each other. Curation is the process. Curation is how we get to the place where we can wake each morning, feeling that this life, this one that we are living right now where things are far from perfect but are the best they have ever been. This is the curation of a life well lived. A love curated from self hatred. A friendship curated with your former, most deadly enemy. You.
This will become my book. Finally, I have found the right word to describe this process of uncovering, discovering and untangling Erin. Curation. Curating me. This life, this being, this existence. And it is exquisitely painful and beautiful, and I am blessed beyond measure. Truly. I never knew what I was doing, but I do now. Curating Erin.
I release a deep sigh at long last and breathe new life into this day. Fall in line with the curation of my life…one minute at a time.