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Pivoting Through the "Pickleverse"

Stories from Bri & Zoli (collectively “Breezy”) about the oddities of traveling through life on the Winds of Spirit

As some of you may know, I (Briana) have been wanting to start a weekly newsletter to keep my friends and family up-to-date about all the goings on in my life, since there always seems to be a lot going on. The start of a new year feels like a great time to start a new project, am I right?

Except that…‘tis the season for hibernation, rest, and renewal. So I’m starting a new thing and laying many other things down at the same time - including travel. Zoli and I decided to stay in Maine for the holidays and our bus departure date is still yet to be determined, though we do hope to be on the road by the spring of this year. I’ve also decided to toss out the dirty, stagnant water of perfectionism and this newsletter is the imperfect baby that I’m finally taking out of the bath.

My greatest fear last year was of being judged by others, but I now understand that I am my own harshest critic and other people’s opinions have nothing to do with me. I will be receptive to constructive feedback from the people in my life whom I respect and ignore the rest. Simple, right? The freedom to express myself without worrying how I’ll be perceived is liberating in a way I’ve needed for a long time. Prepare for a wild ride!

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering about the “Pickleverse.” Zoli and I went for a walk with Kali (our dog, for those who don’t know) along the Passagassawakeag River in Belfast, Maine on Sunday, and while we were discussing our kaleidoscopic personal and shared visions for the new year, we came to the conclusion that we are yet again stuck in a pickle.

My mom, Susan, has a calendar quote posted above the desk in her office that speaks to our current and chronic condition: “We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.” Zoli and I are both creative visionaries at heart and mutable by nature, so we constantly find ourselves in a confounding cyclone of choice. The privilege inherent in our freedom of choice is a burden and a blessing, to say the least.

“We’re back in the Pickleverse!” Zoli exclaimed after we’d determined our place in the pickle, sounding exasperated yet tickled by his own inventiveness. “Yes!” I agreed enthusiastically, and we then proceeded to chant, “Trust in the Pickleverse. Trust in the Pickleverse. Trust in the Pickleverse!” while skipping and squishing through the muddy muck of the Head of Tide Preserve trail, just as we’ve learned to gleefully traverse the mud from which the lotus grows in our daily lives.

As we wandered aimlessly through the winter woods, awestruck by the glinting sunlight cascading through the bare-branched trees and deftly maneuvering around fallen logs and muddy sinkholes, I said to Zoli, “My word for 2023 is ‘pivot’.” We threw our heads back and laughed heartily at this, recalling a ridiculous 30-second clip from the show Friends of Ross yelling at Rachel and Chandler to “PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!” while the three of them attempt to carry a couch up a winding, too-small stairwell (see video below).

And thus the name for our newsletter was coined and the theme of 2023 emerged: Pivoting through the Pickleverse. Not to be too flippant about a foundational truth in my life, but if I’ve learned anything from the past year (and a lifetime of navigating unnerving uncertainty and irresistible possibility), it’s that God only knows and I am not in control. To live boldly according to God’s plan, swept up by the Winds of Spirit and cast asunder into the roiling abyss of the Great Unknown, we must learn to pivot with grace like a soccer player nimbly pivoting around their opponents as they kick the ball towards the goal.

So in this time of transition and mystery, we will continue to pivot ourselves around (or sometimes through) the obstacles that present themselves to us, trusting that wherever God is leading us in the Pickleverse is where we’re meant to be in that moment. And I will share our journey as authentically and candidly as I am able, also trusting that what is coming through the open channel of my heart is meant to be shared with the ones who care.

We’d love for you to follow along for the journey and let us know what resonates with you! And if you really like what we’re sharing and find value in our story, please consider supporting us on Patreon, starting at as little as $5/month! Any level of support is helpful for us to continue following the Call of Spirit and discovering “...the place where [our] deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” in the words of Presbyterian minister and writer Frederick Buechner.

I will go deeper into sharing about how our ministry is unfolding in the world today in future newsletters and blog posts, but for now I thank you for your time and attention and for all the support you’ve already provided to me and us on this wild journey of life. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our community and caring about what we have to share.

We feel a lot like Ross in this clip from the popular TV show Friends - pivoting around and around an immovable object until we can pivot no more.

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31 de jan. de 2023

So just as you have decided to give up perfectionism I am just going to write what comes to mind and heart. I love what you and Zoli are doing and so appreciate your newsletter and posts and emails about your inner and outer journeys. I am glad you can feel us out there routing for you. I am inspired by your intentions and actions. I, too, am excited about 2023, and believe it offers endless opportunities to be our best selves. With love ~ JK

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