I haven’t been writing lately. Instead, I’ve been whisked along through my days as if I were in some wacky tornado, galloping here and there, my head filled with Things To Do, my inner life ignored while I flit from one task to the next.
But when I look at what there is in front of me, what I’ve actually accomplished, it’s not altogether clear. Have I anything to show for it?
These days, I seem to forge ahead with a kind of unseeing tunnel vision, focused on the one goal – and once this is completed, it’s on to the next mission, which must be attended to immediately. No time to stop, or look, or observe, or reflect, or smell the daisies, or smell whatever else happens to be nearby. (An apple pie? A field of grass? The garbage?)
Generally speaking, I’m subjected to a culture focused on product, not process. It’s too easy to pay no attention to the journey, and simply work toward, and pine away for, the journey’s end.
And when I reach that all-important place, I sort of stand there and think, “Well. How is it that I’m suddenly here? And, where is here, anyway? And, what happened to me in the midst of all that?”
Time goes quickly when one is scurrying through. Living this way, one loses perspective and a sense of wisdom. Whatever happened to reflection, to thinking things through before rushing off and bopping everything on the head, with little to no grace or nuance? Whatever happened to sitting and thinking?
When submerged in a life of activity and accomplishments, there’s no other contextual reference point, and it becomes meaningless. There should be time for doing nothing. Nothing.
I believe the reason I haven’t been writing lately is because I’ve been caught up in this way of life, which threatens the philosopher and kills the dreamer. I’ve been conjuring up all kinds of plots and plans, making good on goals and promises to myself.
But when I do this, a part of me slips away – the creation that comes from stillness, the light that comes from contemplation. And when I finally give myself the moment to breathe, and to rest, all sorts of inspiration emerges and I actually accomplish what I meant to do in the first place.
Which is, to imagine and create from the place that only shows itself within the deeply silent moments. The moments without motion; the reflective ones.
Here, there is no product, no tangible evidence of accomplishment. There is only the sweet moment, like a sumptuous sip of warm tea that nourishes and replenishes body and soul for another exquisite day in this gorgeous life.