Tuesday, August 07, 2012

DOING


I have let the summer days trip past me again like some unnervingly fast ferris wheel. Crazy carnival music seemed to be playing while the sun beat down so hard it was making its own sound. There have been times when I couldn't stand it any longer and have shouted out, "Slow this thing down! Everybody stop!" then tried to explain my outburst by speaking to the rider under me, which is no great feat, conversationally shouting out to them with a pained smile, "I'm sorry to act so nervous, but I would like to just walk around sometimes...wouldn't you?" 
The rider looks embarrassed that I've mentioned the ride and looks away, seemingly too busy going round and round themselves (perhaps trying to reconcile the music with the time of the rounds the wheel was making or some such busy work), and the operator only acknowledges me with a sniff as I round by him, then he stops the whole gizmo with me at the top. Not, what I was planning, but a stop never-the-less.

The wheel of the year just keeps turning; The sun shines, the grass grows, leaves unfurl and turn bright. 

 I am pecking along like a hen with her head down, oblivious to the hands that are catching her from the backside. I've MADE myself stop in the midst - looking around like a good, cautious hen - climbing out of my seat and monkeying my way down and off the ferris wheel. 
I've sat outside with my morning coffee, listening to my roosters learning to crow and Tommy the hog snorting in the back. I've lazily watered a drought-stricken flower pot, praising the clover and dandelions...all of this before the "Busy" sets in for the day.

 I've been sitting in the midday sun, awaiting my 4-H orders at fair, crocheting a hot wool shawl on my lap, thinking to myself, "This is for winter. I am making this shawl for myself for winter. Why is this yarn called "Glacier Bay"? Oh, yes, I see. I do love the richness of color. Was that 5 or 6 chains? Did I already increase on this corner?" And there I went, not thinking about anything but what I was doing...however, I was still DOING.
Apparently, there are some people who can just sit and think of nothing...I think they call it meditating. That sounds like a super-power to me. Even when I sit, I think I need something to keep my hands busy; this is why I love hand-sewing or crocheting. I can watch movies, listen to my kids, and make mental lists for later while I create something.
There was once in early winter that my husband and I went to a place called "Summer Lake", which was not a lake at all at the time, but was only a lake during summer...curious. They had a "curative hot springs" there that we tried out, but mostly, I was taken aback by the "curative quiet". I went for a 2-hour walk out by the "lake-that-recently-was-and-would-be-again" where there was NOTHING. No houses, no hills, no plants but sagebrush, and no sound. It was cold enough not to have bugs at this time of year, so I didn't hear flies or anything. I just sat down, looking out at the nothingness and let my mind melt into it. I was in awe. I had this giddy feeling like I've only felt before when I was playing hide-and-seek as a child and no one found me for an hour. I had brought a journal with me, but nothing would come. The quiet wouldn't allow me to write anything. I just sat, hearing myself breathe. Now and again, a visiting wind. Now and again I'd notice a coyote track, or rabbit droppings. But I only noticed it. I didn't soak it in, or wonder aloud at it, or try to track it down. 
Why do I operate by extremes? I'd love to be one of those people (are there really any?) who can be balanced and calm and "just busy enough" and "just rested enough"...
Hmmmm...Summer Lake in Winter, or Ferris Wheels in Summer?

1 comment:

sarah said...

I can't bear to do nothing. It makes me go a little crazy. I don't understand why there's this idea that we all *ought* to slow down, be more meditative, etc. Some of us function better with movement. Finding what works best for you is key.

The shawl sounds lovely, I hope we get to see photos of it! :-)