It turns out that not only do I know how to slow down, I can actually drop into hibernation at the end of winter. I know! What can I say– I’ll have to add it to my list of things I can do really well. I’m thinking it should come right after ‘ability to execute a pirouette while switching leashes behind my back when two dogs decide abruptly to go in opposite directions as we cross a busy street.’
Henry: I feel so misunderstood . . .
It turns out that I was super tired or, as my kind house guest gently commented one evening in an effort to get me to acknowledge a truth that was glaringly obvious, “Elizabeth, you are exhausted. Go to bed.”
Isn’t it funny how when someone else tells you something that you can hear it, but if you say the same thing to yourself it doesn’t sound the same? All I know is that it was some kind of much needed permission slip and I lumbered off into the bear cave without so much as a backward glance.
Doing nothing is honestly one of my most favorite things ever– and I had forgotten how good I am at this much maligned skill. I think part of the fear, for me anyway– not sure if it is true for anyone else– is that if you give over to the fatigue you’ll be tired for ever more– like somehow it will consume you. Maybe this is why kids fight going to sleep so much each night?
Who knows– all I know is that the only way I will get back into the happy, creative groove that I love is to keep on resting because recently some utterly fabulous things have been popping up and I know it is a direct result of all I am not doing— go figure.
And, one of the things I want very much to find a way to do is being present here in a way that I used to. This post reminds me of how once upon a time I captured bits of my experience that would be lost to me otherwise. I can promise you that if I had not sat down and scribbled to you that day I would never remember that girl in class and her love of Kurt Vonnegut. I simply wouldn’t remember— life moves too fast, I connect with many, many people in the course of a day, a month– I walk tens of miles a week through all sorts of beautiful places that capture my imagination and taking the time to share pieces of it here operates as my little treasure box.
The key is time. Instagram has stepped in and spirited me away from my camera. The photos are so different, they are quick, easy — and there’s a real loveliness to the way they capture moments, but it’s not the same thing at all for me.
Making the choice to carry my camera (read: lug) means that I am going to slow down and then, when I get home, there’s the time it takes to upload images and choose a few — slurp a bit more coffee that is rather chilly at this point and let the scribbling roll out. It will only work if I am in the moment and have carved out the time to experience the moment. See what comes up– follow the thread — it always leads me home. Always.
Two issues that face me now that fatigue is no longer the chief obstacle are the cold and navigation. The cold just is and it sucks. Nothing outside inspires me in New England at this time of the year– nothing. Dead branches, brown, gray, raw — not my season. Plus my fingers get cold, my nose is red and chapped. My head is always at a downward tilt against the wind.
In a word? Blah.
So I have been taking a zillion photos of my living room which, given its dimensions is quickly reaching its limit of interest — perhaps this is that cabin fever of which they speak?
The second issue is navigation. I want to be able to speak my truth and share what is going on and yet, because I no longer have the luxury of the anonymity I had at bluepoppy — I have to wend my way through without sharing anyone else’s story but my own. Not such an easy task, but one I need to pursue if I am going to get current here and once again be able to sit down and let the scribbles roll with no need for edits or diplomatic deletions.
Anyway, that’s a little of my lately. I’ll shift into semi-hibernation in the next few weeks no doubt, but then I think I’m gonna stay in that mode until August.
2013 is all about the yes, all about the slow, all about returning to where I started and knowing it for the first time*.