Monday, April 21, 2014

Living with Diminshed Urgency

Only a few things in life really matter, and those few things that do matter, matter immeasurably. Kent Kilbourne

"I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise."
Dawna Markova

Most of last week I spent doing stuff that was important at the moment but not what recharges and refreshes me.  For a few days I was on a tight time table to get things done and there was a price I didn't count on paying. My five minute first-thing-in-the morning writings were superficial and unsatisfying. There was no time to write my blog which often helps me know who I am that day. My sleep was worse than usual, there was no time to do art and these are the things that matter immeasurably to me.  At this point in my life, I've completed most of my life tasks and now I live in a way I haven't before: meandering rather than being purpose driven. I can't go back. Through writing and playing with colors and media I've learned to open myself to myself. I am continually grateful I have the luxury of diminished urgency.

Finally on Friday, I did something that really mattered. I got to be Nana. I picked up Charlie after school and  and we went to the arcade, to the bookstore, to the yogurt shop, found a small outpost of San Francisco's Exploratorium where we explored magnets and iron filings and how each ear functions separately from the other depending on the input. He's close to seven and holding hands when we cross the street isn't what he wants to do, so we held fingers. Each time we crossed we figured out how to make different fingers hold on to each other. The next day I watched my almost nine year old granddaughter become a fearless soccer goalie and immersed myself in appreciation of my other granddaughter as she navigated playground equipment both fearlessly and with an awareness of what is safe for her four year old self to do and what isn't.

Today I when I woke up I wrote and painted and went for a walk with a friend. I enjoyed some homemade soup for lunch. I took a shower around noon and went out to do some errands. Today I put a spell on myself and did only things that satisfy and refresh me. If you could see me now, you would see me pounding my chest and dancing up and down. Well, not actually. I'd like to see myself doing that too.

I think these pictures I completed yesterday afternoon reflect a letting go of too much busyness.

Baruch ata adonai....Help me to remember what is important to me and what isn't. Help me to tell myself and others I can't do some things even if I want to because it isn't good for me. May I have the courage to be attentive to the steps I take. Amen

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hope and Capability

Today I honor fusion and confusion
beginning again
trusting what has passed.

Today I honor hope and capability,
embrace forward movement.
I'm only on the five thousandth try
with five more to go.

Today I honor brokenness 
and tolerance of change
as just another
life variation
not a road block
not a rude heave ho
off the path.

Today I honor wearing myself out
before I remember to stay
in the here and now.
I balance hope and
my current capabilities,
my life in this
present moment. 

I am a month and six days into my morning five minute writing challenge. Now I'm not skipping any days because I forget to write. Now I feel incomplete if I don't sit down first thing in the morning and begin the day with finding out who I am before the day shaped by the calendar or art challenges convinces me I'm someone else. I've been writing for years. I've done this before. I hope I don't stop this time.

Do you know "The Humans of New York" blog? Brandon Stanton spoke in my home town last week and reminded me yet again that it takes a lot of work to be as good as your ambitions. And he's only 30. And darling. And his book is a best seller. And he's been at it for four years. And in those four years he went from not owning a camera to taking pictures every waking moment to the point he has taken hundreds of thousands photos and humbled himself and worked along until he honed his craft to wonderful captures of life. 

Baruch ata adonai...I am aware I am not hard on myself now as I paint or draw or challenge myself to use new art materials. Sometimes my work disappoints me, but I'm aware that I've done the best I can do at the time, and that everyone goes through this crablike progression of moving onward while seeming to stagger backwards and lurch sideways as long as they continue taking one step after another. I do not doubt the rest of me is watching my progress to see if I can make it work in other parts of my life. Thank you for being with me on this journey. Amen