Friday, June 7, 2013

slow flow

It finally feels like Spring around here.  June always catches me off  guard as my mind is thinking summer thoughts as the schools let out for the year around the third week in May.  The neighborhood pool opens on Memorial Day weekend and everyone busts outdoors to enjoy the mild weather.  I feel like we should be easing into July, but then the scent of lilacs carried by the cool night air to our bedroom window restore my sense of time.

It is early June and summer's easy stride is still weeks away.

I've just gotten an early start.

I sound like every retiree I've ever chatted up:  How did I ever find the time to work and live my life? 

My first college art professor shared with us the reward of immersing oneself in creative pursuits: a return to a medieval sense of time.  Rather than experiencing life in tidy segments of time - hours parading by in quick step - art making and the absorption it necessitates, brings me into an experience of time that is expansive, shiftable, and detached from cognitive experience. Minutes feel vast and hours collapse into a handful of thoughts, a breath and a sigh. The only evidence of the passage of time is my body's hunger for fuel after an immense expenditure of energy.  

My self-imposed retirement (not that I am referring to this phase as such to the Husband who would certainly raise an eyebrow while quietly freaking out inside) is challenging me when it comes to organizing my days.  I suppose I should be abandoning such an old-fashioned notion as I embrace my radical self-reinvention;  but my habit is to create some structure or routine which allows me to room to improvise and play with some illusion sense of security and order. 

The trouble is, I cannot rush my morning coffee and I do believe puttering should be classified as a High art.

This morning I sat for what I told myself would be a brief meditation session.  It helps if I ease myself into such things.  So I sat there thinking at best I would notice a couple of complete breaths and then hop to ...

But that medieval sense of time kicked in and I found it fascinating to watch how my mind trudges like a foot soldier through the forest of my thoughts, convinced that there is an end to that forest, that a clearing of some sort awaits discovery.  I could almost hear my mind bellowing: forward hup

This is how I have been living my life: as an never-ending check-list of things to hustle through, no end in sight but a belief in some sort of completion or finish line that once crossed, would blast me into a state of fulfillment if not nirvana.  I am always seeking: the answer or the question to be asking; for meaning, for purpose; insight or understanding.  Always on the look out, forgetful that there is no place to go where I won't be there with all of my uncertainties in tow.   

 There is no magic threshold to cross where my life falls into meaning, into order.  There is only right here, right now.  This evening with the sun easing itself below the green hills, the symphony of birdsong in the Spring air, the steady rhythm of Moose dog's breathing as he rests by my feet, my girl in her room singing a raucous lullaby to the company of stuffed animals circling her on the bed.  Right now is my life.  These words, the thoughts of this moment which soon will be followed by new thoughts which I will try to capture like fireflies in my hands, in these computer keys going clicky clacky click.  

This is what I attempt to practice ... to slow down, to relax into this new flow and stay as open as I can to the immensity and magnificence each moment offers up so effortlessly and so lovingly.  

This is the gift offered, received, and shared by us all.  This is how I choose to live and love.  What about you?

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