I tend to see mornings as series of hurdles and hoops. I don't know when it started--possibly when Phillip (my oldest) was a tot. But likely way before. I remember waking in the dark in my parent's house, making coffee and toast quietly, fumbling in the pockets of my scrubs before heading to the hospital at 5am, cursing myself for not working at McDonald's like my friends still sleeping in their warm beds. Moving through the familiar steps until I woke up where I needed to be, which then was the basement morgue.
I called my friend David. "Is it too early for you?" I asked him. He told me it wasn't and that the only times he could find any peace were very late at night and very early in the morning. "But," I said, "those are pretty much the same time." He agreed.
Right. So I jump these hurdles, moving fast through mornings to get to the 'real work' before the sun burns all the color from the sky. Tasks completed, hurdles cleared, I grab another cup of coffee, tie on my apron and 'begin again.' Now, I'm awake. So...what was I then?
Sometimes the hurdles last all day. Sometimes it seems my whole life is made up of 'have to's.' Some days go by in a blur, all but forgotten in the next.
The most important casualty here might be passion. Where do our desires wait while we're running our daily races? Certainly hidden from those around us. Ideas, revelations and joy are no more than a trail of bread crumbs, blown away or eaten by thoughtless creatures, gone before the trail could lead anyone to us. How often is it that we investigate our parents' cases after they're gone, to discover our impressions of them are mere sketches of the living, breathing, passionate people we never knew. They were whole, in all the ways we ourselves are.
Did I have a meaningful conversation yesterday? Did I marvel at something I'd never seen before? Did I speak to my children about some thing in the world that makes me angry? Did I take any action to change that thing? Do I even remember yesterday?
A few weeks ago I made a small change in my routine. I get up 15 minutes earlier. I go outside and sit on the little penninsula over the pool. It's a quiet spot where I can see the mountains and feel the air, where the sound of the water covers distractions. I sit or kneel there. It's not prayer and it's not meditation. Some people might call it 'centering' but even that would be generous. Mostly I'm sitting there without a clue what to think. But what I am doing is showing up. At this point, it's both the least and the most I can do.
Possibly this simple act is a symbol. I'm here. I'm present. Like Poppet's wake up? It's too early for me to understand how this is working, but I can at least tell you that, somehow, it....is.
When I know more, I'll tell you. If you've had experience with this, tell me, and the others that visit here.
True enough, this 'stuck on the wheel' is a problem created by the machinations of modern society. True enough, anything I say here could likely be reduced down to something that would fit on a button. Still, if I've learned anything since I started writing here, it's that language is limited and that human beings still don't understand each other. In other words (pun intended) many different translations are needed. The one I offer is one of millions and, if we're lucky, writer and reader, it's the one that works for you...occasionally.
I'm off to make art, that today, will be another way of saying what I wrote here.
To my friends at the Rally to Restore Sanity, YAY FOR YOU! Hope you took your Poppet. Have a great time and be loud. To the rest of us I say, VOTE. Don't expect others to speak for you. They won't.
I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great Saturday.