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REFLECTIONS ON BEING STUCK, VEGETABLES, STEERING YOUR LIFE AND BABY STEPS
I ask myself as I move through the house, what do I want to do? I walk past the jewelry table, past the music corner, past the bookshelves that need organizing so I can pick out books that speak to me, past the half read DREAMLAND, Adventures in the Science of Sleep, past the computer table, past the library that needs sorely to be reorganized, into and out of the kitchen, past the shawl I meant to embroider, past the 4 inches of scarf I have taken one month to knit, and the answer is, nothing. And yet, its not a very satisfying ‘nothing,’ there is a barb in it. I wonder where there is to go from here? Will things change? They haven’t for what seems like a long time. Is it the weather, the season, where all gets ready to hibernate for the winter? The fig tree is shedding its leaves, the asparagus has been cut back, the hydrangea bush is bare of flowers. Guavas are ripening, however, and the lettuce, kale and broccoli are growing strongly in their beds. Is there any solace in this comparison? Hibernating sounds right, for perhaps I am not a winter vegetable or fruit, but then, neither am I entirely a summer one. Why can’t I learn from the vegetable world, however? Because as a human I like to think of myself as an evergreen, or beyond this analogy, something other than the natural. Don’t I have a will? And cannot I not steer by it? If yes, why is my will not working to give a direction to my days? If I wait trustingly, will something move me? I have loosened the reins of my Rosanante (she is Don Quixote’s mare, and whenever he couldn’t decide which way to go, he loosened her reins and let her decide) and she has just been standing like a rocking horse in the crossroads. Since nothing is working, rest is best. Or perhaps, I might say, a restful way of being.
I must give myself credit for an enormous development in my life (or is it grace?): unlike in the past where I have let this lack of direction drive me crazy and insane, I have held my mind steady on the course to peace. It is peace I am steering by now. I’m not getting anything done and am a bit restless and unhappy about it, but I am not insane, and that is saying a lot. But because this is a time of questioning, I wonder where I shouldn’t at least allow myself to get agitated? A sort of controlled agitation, as it were. Perhaps the agitation serves a purpose and helps me find a direction? In the past I have grown so crazy that I have had to throw myself into something to keep from going insane. Will peace keep me from my goal?
This is undoubtedly a complex issue. Most of us think the agitation itself is purpose enough for it makes us feel alive. We are so afraid to allow ourselves to sink into peace. It feels like growing old. It feels like the end of the road.
Okay, peacefully, slowly, sleepily, even, I’ll make a new file and review the music for BBS: small, baby steps, Kamla. Make a beginning, take the first step, falter if your must, be patient, scribble something, never mind that it is mindless, useless, piddly; never mind that it doesn’t matter to anyone but you; remember, you are the audience of your own life; don’t judge your performance. Proceed, fumblingly, but proceed . . . word by word, sentence by sentence, small thought by small thought . . . onward.
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