“Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the plowshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring, and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird; keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests, an altar for the unknown God. Then if a bird sing among your branches, do not be too eager to tame it. If you are conscious of something new – thought or feeling, wakening in the depths of your being – do not be in a hurry to let in light upon it, to look at it; let the springing germ have the protection of being forgotten, hedge it round with quiet, and do not break in upon its darkness.”
Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Amiel’s Journal
We come toward the end of what feels like a turbulent year, and I suppose a turbulent decade.
The weather has been unsettlingly mild here in our valley. Then last night a tempest blustered in with all the drama of a storm we might normally see in March. Complete with thunder and lightning, the wind put an end to any idea of peaceful sleeping. And now, this morning, it is more seasonably cool, the skies a steely gray, which I love.
All in all though, we have been blessed with a restful holiday, busy enough with gatherings and visitations, yet spacious too, with blocks of time affording moments of self-reflection, some well over-due house-tending and organization. A true hitting of the proverbial re-set button. It’s been nice.
In a few days the workaday routine will return once more of course, but with it, a tad more intention in how it is all approached. My “word” for 2020: INTENTION. I’ve never been one to subscribe to “resolutions” at the New Year, as it all seems so pressurized and fraught with potential failure. I for one do not thrive under those conditions. But with a word or two steering my course each year, I find I can tack toward a general desired direction and I suppose that is just how it goes. The work is mostly internal these days, breaking down the strange damaging stress responses I seem so hard-wired to; changing the old fear-based, internal dialogue into something a bit gentler, more flowing. Through all of it, to simply allow it all to just be, much like the gorgeous quote above suggests.
There is a small note in my calendar “allowing” myself to return to the noisy world of social media once the New Year dawns. I jotted that note down with a question mark next to it, wondering how that return might feel after a month away from it all. I thought I might be chomping at the bit to re-engage. Alas, after more than a month away from the ‘Big Three’ (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) I am even more keen to stay logged off. And so, I must make some sort of plan to have a more balanced relationship with these platforms. I wonder if the work I do can yet carry itself without the back up of “sharing” on social media. I do not know.
As with all things, the outcome will likely not be one thing or another. I will have seasons of engagement online and seasons of withdrawal for deeper work, this is for certain. And in the long run, it won’t matter if I am “posting” daily or if I take a week or two or three off now and then. Y’all know where to find me.
“My experience is what I agree to attend to.” ~Wm. James
Tomorrow, John Joe Badger will have a post here wishing everyone a bright and tuneful new year, and I wish you all the same. Thank you for reading, for coming along on traveley and painterly adventures along the way, either in person, or virtually here on the blog.