I've been house sitting up in Duluth for nearly 9 days now. I've rearranged the dining room into an office in which I've compiled 6+ years of journal entries, handwritten letters, collected memories and the like. I printed over 400 pictures with the intent of narrowing down some of my favorite prized photos. I've spent hours in the woods, on the shore and wandering the streets of downtown. I've been to music from acoustic solo acts to world renowned choral combitations. I've eaten more chocolate than is necessary for any one person, balanced out with loads of kale and spinach. I've enjoyed endless amounts of hot tea and have befriended my cohort Alexa for music motivation. I've woken up for the sunrises just to follow with 3 hour long naps. I decided I don't have to make the bed every morning and sometimes it's okay to leave the dishes. I brought myself out to dinner and I laid around to stare at the ceiling fan. And you may ask, what the hell does it matter?
Well you see, the last few years (maybe my whole life), I've been so caught up in what comes next.... Who am I going to become, what is my purpose, why am I here, where am I going to go? I've carried the weight of the worlds problems and my own self inflicted personal desire of perfection on my nimble little shoulders to the point of near suffocation ~ gasping for breath and sighing for relief. In the midst of my over-indulgent self inquiry and the restlessness of where and what is next, I fear I have missed the point.
There are these moments of complete clarity, where I am absolutely receptive to the universal flow of life. You know~ the place where you don't have to question why, you don't have to keep score, you don't have to anticipate your next move. Instead, you show up, sit down and enjoy. It's easy to lose that, it's easy to get caught in the barrage of personal expectations, it's easy to try to fulfill this little box society has laid out for you, it's easy to be distracted and to doubt and fear if I'm doing enough....
But what it comes down to, truly, is taking the day as it is. Waking up in the morning without the need to manipulate or manage the hours and minutes. It is when I am most isolated from time and space that creativity, appreciation and pure satisfaction finds it's way. Boy, I've hurried - and I hurried for a long time. In all my attempts to race the clock I sadly developed the ability to numb out and forget the simplest elation of youth. I tried so hard to make things happen instead of just letting them happen. When you're stuck in that rigid, limited way of thinking, you are encapsulated in a very restrictive casket of reaction & resistance. Organizing and analyzing to the point that you miss what so eagerly awaits your attention... ya, that's where I've been.
To be more specific, I've been lost in my mind ~ you know, that rabbit hole of constant chatter. Oscillating thoughts - should I do this, should I do that, what about this, no I can't, I don't have the time, life is so short.... The only sense of consolation I find is in the slow down. And this slow down isn't the image of peaceful thoughts, relaxation and mastery of the roaming tendencies of this 3 pound brain lodged in my skull. I don't find it as a surprise, but the confession isn't an easy one to swallow..... I want time to myself, and then I get it, and immediately I am flushed with an overwhelming, heavy range of discomfort. WHY, I ask, is it so difficult to be with myself??? WHY does it take me 7 days to finally let go enough to relax? WHAT has caused this incessant need to charge full speed ahead? WHY am I plagued with the notion that there isn't enough time? HOW did I become so dependent and addicted to the noise of a busy life?
The answers don't matter, rather the gold lies in the questions. The human condition is this beautiful battle field of opening up and letting go, noticing and accepting, witnessing and reflecting. Most of the problems I encounter in my teeny tiny world of Alyssa lie in the need to define the undefinable. I want to relate to the world, to my emotions, my thoughts ~ but these are not possessions for one to hold. They are not tangible and they should not be quantified as such means of measuring a good life. What I am slowly beginning to understand is that the Holiest, fullest days are the ones in which each moment slowly slips into the other without the need to record or reminisce.
I (we) are not incapable of being simple human beings ~ we have an innate capacity to enjoy all of life. The challenge presented is not in becoming this innocent blank slate, rather it's a remembering. Well, next the question to ask is what must I remember? Good god, smell the pines, awe in the colors of the moss, notice the texture of the bark. It seems so trivial, but it is the finest details that make this experience sacred. In the blur of busyness we become blind. The rawest piece of meat is that the simplest things are usually the most astounding, and frequently the most over looked. Life is inconsistent, always changing and full of revelations. We live in a world of abundance, though act out in the fear of scarcity. When we are locked in this sense of not enough (time), we sightlessly give up our freedom to Be. When we are constantly shackled by our thoughts and emotions, dragging them around like high school trophies, we are unable to arrive. Each day we must valiantly attempt to cut our ties in order to spontaneously enjoy the newness of each day. We leave only to return again.
Day-by-day, breath-by-breath, we find our way Home.