It has been two weeks since I posted. Not a huge gap in the scheme of things, but it represents two weeks of me breaking a commitment to myself to write something for myself rather than others.
It has been even longer since I took a picture.
I’ve simply run out of words, and my vision has gone inward.
There are words that could describe this state:
These are not entirely pleasant states of being, but they are a necessary part of growth. They require disturbing what has become comfortable, questioning what seems true.
Like everyone, I have experienced these states before. This time, I have a different toolkit. Minimalism reminds me that things I don’t need won’t make life feel better. Mindfulness reminds me to stay in the moment, even the uncomfortable ones, letting them pass rather than getting stuck in my head.
I wish I were more adept at using these tools.
There’s a bag from Bed Bath and Beyond sitting on my table. I went to the store with one thing I needed to purchase and somehow managed to spend $100 and leave with a cartful of… stuff. In the store, I thought the items would bring me joy. But they weren’t even worth taking out of the bag when I got home.
Thanks to my mindfulness practice (although I haven’t felt very thankful for it), I’m recognizing anxiety as it wells up in me. These physical sensations are demanding and even a little alarming and I don’t like them one bit. And more often than not, I’m turning away from them, distracting myself, tuning out rather than paying attention to what they’re telling me.
So I live quietly, my conflicting desires and worries arguing beneath the surface. I’m not solving or fixing anything.
Instead I’m doing my best to leave space for introspection and doubt rather than rushing to recalibration and refining. I’m endeavoring to nourish my spirit, mind and body as best I can so that this fallow period will lead to healthy growth. All of this looks like a whole lot of nothing from the outside, which makes my accomplishment-driven ego snarl in frustration, but I’m ignoring that too.
I am a painter staring at a blank canvas day after day, watching the light and shadows change hour after hour. I am a sculptor contemplating a chunk of marble.
What is this new thing trying to be created? What needs to be said that only I can say? What is the story that needs to be told, or, better yet, lived?
Yesterday, in the middle of a storm that wasn’t much of a storm really, I felt moved to grab my camera. Perhaps somewhere in that fallow field, a seedling has burst forth.
Photo taken by me, with a Nikon D3300.