i don’t even think i realized that i had ever sped up. but speeding up can be dangerous like that, where you barely realize you’ve done it until something happens that slaps you in the face and makes you stop dead in your tracks, and then you skid because you’ve been running. i probably sped up a long time ago, just to keep up with that ever-present notion that everyone is “doing everything”, never has a “free moment”, is always “super busy”, in my twenties and then just never slowed down again.
well, nothing really happened, but as i’ve grown older, i find myself questioning a lot of things about my life and the way that people live, what is really meaningful and what creates a happy, fulfilling existence (that’s another dangerous thing about all of this speed-living everyone seems to be doing. you’re going so fast, you’re so “super-busy”, you don’t ever have time to ask the important questions. in extreme cases, you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone). greg and i have done a lot to get back to a place, a kind of living, that, to us, feels more authentic. such as hanging the laundry up in the basement to dry, learning to bake our own bread, and lately, ratcheting down to one car (again). ok, it’s because our car broke, but we are taking the ball and running with it and trying to be a one car family for a while (at least until taxes come back). buying our clothes at the thrift store, spending as little on food, and heat, and electricity as possible. and on top of that, getting into growing and killing (greg) our own food and trading our lawn for a prairie, our yard for a rain garden, which changes with the seasons and brings all sorts of different bugs and birds to our home for us to observe. if i had to sum it all up, we are trying to appreciate everything.
january first, people wake up and vow to be different, better. but, february first, to me, can be more of an eye-opening self-realizing moment. when you look at yourself and come to see that an entire month has passed of the new year, one twelfth of the new year, and nothing has changed. you haven’t eaten more healthy, you haven’t gained inner peace. and what’s worse, it’s the damn dead of winter to top it all off. shit.
so, i deactivated my facebook account. and i’m trying to meditate with ruth and joel. ruth mostly stomps away, furious at having her play schedule infringed upon, for even five minutes. joel mostly tries to eat plastic while i sit in my half lotus, hands clasped, eyes (mostly) shut, melting into a pile of wax, letting go of sadness and anger, which our typical morning around here has no shortage of, and then i try and take this, what i’m seeing has grown into something of a, rock heart of mine, and i try and soften it. i try and open it. i try and let go of my pain and my confusion and my anger, lots of anger. and i try to just be. to accept everything. and throughout the day, when i feel it harden again, i try and coax it to stay open. just a little. just a little bit at a time.
if i had incense, i would burn it. if i had religious rituals to practice, i would practice them. if i had a straw mat to sleep upon, i would.
but this seems to be good enough for now. i can feel it working. as in, i feel myself slowing down, coming down from something, back to earth, back to this moment, in fact. yes, this one. right here. i think i’ll stay a while and have a look around. it is a beautiful moment, after all, it’s all we’ve got.