Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm the kind of girl who indulges in things to such excess that I eventually max out on them. You know, for awhile it's a certain kind of pasta, or cookies, or a jogging route, or reading an author...some kind of routine...and then, one day, bam, I can't stand the smell of tomato sauce, and if I have to look at those ugly begonias one more time on my jog I might just hyperventilate.

Well friends, the same thing has begun to happen to me with the internet, blogs, and email. I still try to respond to email, but I find that I don't just reply to every single email that comes in, but more in waves, when I really have something of substance to say. I still read an enormous number of blogs for someone who is supposed to be working during the day, but I don't have it in me to post, too. I rarely surf the net. I am coming back to a place of stillness. It is enough to rise early and write, then edit other people's writing on the egregiously tiny computer screen of my laptop, exercise, eat healthy, carry on an ever-deepening and meaningful relationship with my husband, read all the things I want to read, and watch the minimal tv programming I like (Daily Show, American Idol, The Office...), journal, talk with/meet with friends, etc.

I feel as though I've hit stimulation overload. I still enjoy going to the bookstore, but I only skim the celebrity rags anymore. Television commercials feel like visual hammers on my psyche. I can't help when I enter a store nowadays but feel that I am just being crowded out by merchandise, by stuff. Then there's all the information out here, on the internet. I think I have stopped blogging as much because I want to offer less opportunity to snag others away from their lives. And, I'm too overwhelmed lately to keep it up. I feel inundated, dripping in information and ways to connect and suggestions of how I should engage in the material world via my checkbook, not my heart, without any actual connection.

This weekend the Creating Space retreat at the Wellspring Renewal Center was small, so I really got to retreat in the truest sense of the word. I spent whole hours on my quaint cabin porch in an insect-buzz and bird-song induced trance. It's funny, I really was trying to write, but then the particular cadence of all that frothy nature would tickle my ear, and I'd drift off on it as if I was listening to a rapturous Bach Ensemble. It was magnificent. For someone who has a hard time stopping, nature helps you do it. It just pulls on you with its creaturely, messy, smelly claws. It made me feel deeply nostalgic for not an exact experience that I've had, but of one I haven't had, actually, of a time when we were not separate from nature, or not as much as we are today.

Some might say this is a form of withdrawing from life, but I swear to you, I want nothing more than to plunge deeply back into life. Real life. Not packaged life that comes in shopping malls and in pre-packaged entertainment. I'm craving the authentic, I guess, that stuff that exists whether humans ever showed up on the planet or not. I'm craving deep silence and connection to everything. And if you want to call me a hippie for it, go ahead, everyone always does.

But I'll leave you with Mary Oliver:


Every spring
the ambiguities
of childhood

the hillsides grew white
with the wild trilliums.
I believed in the world.
Oh, I wanted

to be easy
in the peopled kingdoms,
to take my place there,
but there was none

that I could find
shaped like me.
So I entered
through the tender buds,

I crossed the cold creek,
my backbone
and my thin white shoulders
unfolding and stretching

From the time of snow-melt
when the creek roared
and the mud slid
and the seeds cracked

I listened to the earth-talk,
the root-wrangle,
the arguments of energy,
the dreams lying

just under the surface,
then rising
at the last moment

flaring and luminous
the patient parable
of every spring and hillside
year after difficult year.



At 8:09 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Hmmm...I'm glad the retreat gave you what you needed. I'm feeling similarly maxed out.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger down_not_out said...

Maxed out is understandable.

Some say, the more in-tune you become the easier it is to max on distractions and noise.

Do what you need to do for you and we'll love you just the same.


At 1:35 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

I'll say "amen" to both of you, sisters.



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