I think we all have landmarks that we visit in time. Places in our memory that we can point to without much thought, and say… “Ohey… ” Where we pick up the end of a dangling thread and can follow a string of events within our lives.
At the moment I was thinking of silence, of focus. I was thinking of selflessness and the place where things that are virtues in moderation become terrible albatrossi. (Is that a word? The plural of Albatross? Lets say it is. Albatrossi. Roll that around on your tongue for a moment even if it is terribly improper. I did, and instead of a flock of albatross, my mind conjured up huge birds with tentacles. Albatross Kraken. The world doesn’t need any of that.)
This is part of the problem. I will pick up a little snippet of thread, merely because I was thinking of writing, and I was wondering how that was even going to happen, as I just cannot for the life of me seem to settle down. That little thread brought me back to being little, in fourth grade, and how my teacher at the time would have us write each day in a journal. I remember thinking this teacher was pretty fantastic, she was theatrical and loved teaching still, even though she had been doing it for a long time. She wore dresses and knee high leather heeled boots. There were streaks of silver all through her hair but even then, I remember she was lovely, vibrant and passionate. I remember not quite knowing WHAT she was but that she was wonderful. Well – each day she would have us write, and she would throw classical records on – and ever since then, I have a hard time writing without it.
I love and enjoy silence however. Stillness.
But in my house, silence and stillness are hard to come by.
In Maine, it was so nice to be …. still.
Where being quiet was not selfish and thoughtless.
In Maine, I realized something quite obvious. I am content to take pictures, and wallflower.
I am content to take care of others to the extent that my first thought is never about what I might want or how I might feel, but rather – “If person A wants this thing, then that would leave me with choices B,C,D….” and THEN; “If I want B, it will be an inconvenience to persons A and B – but if I choose C instead of D, that will cause the least amount of ruckus for everyone else, even if I do not like thing C.”
Did you follow that? If you want to reread it seven times, I’ll hang out and wait.
Now on the surface? That isn’t such a terrible thing is it? Thinking of others before yourself?
Wasn’t that exhausting to try to get? But what if you *lived* that way. All the time.
What if every thing that you did had to go through such an exhausting flowchart of “Who is inconvenienced by what I choose to have for lunch, or how many pairs of socks I wash, or if I take my shower now or at midnight?” These are small decisions. I don’t even bother trying for larger decisions any longer if they affect others around me. Its too difficult. I will almost always choose to make someone else happier even if it makes me miserable, I know I shouldn’t do this, but I do it anyway.
So here I was. I was thinking – Well, if I want to write, I can put my headset on and listen to Pandora and drown everything else out.
“Oh no.. You can’t do that!” self said.
Well why the hell not? When did it ever become terribly and horribly rude to take a minute or five and just .. write?
“What if someone comes to the door?” Who? Who is coming to my door that wouldn’t call first? No one, that is who.
No one comes here except Jehovah’s witnesses and some other churchy folk wanting me to come hang out with Jesus sometimes. Oh… and occasionally a magazine salesman. Well – they will live if I don’t answer the door.
And the thing is? So will my husband and the Boy-o. They will live. I am not out and out ignoring them, they know what I am trying to do.
Well… Ok, The boy-o, five minutes after I told him what I was going to do, and that I wanted it to be quiet, and that I might not answer but that ItDoesntMeanThatIDontLoveYou!!! and I’mNotReallyTryingToHurtYourFeeeeliiinnnnngssssss……….
Yeah. He doesn’t really get it, but I kind of expected that.
That reminds me of the thing that really upset me in Maine. I just sort of Sheepled. Took pictures, ambled around and tried not to be seen, and tried really hard to become a rock or some other quiet still thing that doesn’t call much attention to itself. Content to take pictures of everyone else *living* in the moment, but not allowing myself to actually do it. (Haven’t been on a vacation in 12 years, and that was how I lived it! – WHAT IS THAT?!)
I am very good at it. But I am NOT happy that I do it nor that I have been doing it for so long. So I made a sort of deal with myself – to try and … stop doing that so much. So that the next time I have a chance to be somewhere, I am not so locked up within myself and my inhibition that I cannot enjoy BEING where I am and living in the moment itself.
I am trying to pick up the thread of who I am and follow it without too much apology … and hopefully with less of a flowchart.
I guess we’ll see how THAT goes.