Saturday, March 12, 2011
Green, green, green,
it calls to me
a bee to honey
the wealthy to money.
License plates constantly excited me
Look! Another one!
Wait. They're all Oregon plates.
The rain on my face
biking as fast as I could
feeling the cold darts
on my skin
Gave me life.
Sunlight and water,
a plant needs both to grow.
2 weeks ago we went to the desert for a solitary retreat. Now I know that some people might be surprised if I were to say how excited I was, knowing my social tendencies, but I was stoked for this opportunity. For at least 2 or 3 years while I was making new years resolutions (it hasn't happened for a couple) I planned on taking a 2-3 day camping trip by myself. In my mind, this solitary retreat was a long time coming. However, what I found was that I didn't respond the way I thought I would. I was not happy. I was not relaxed. I was stressed out, mostly by creations of my own mind. I had no agenda, nothing to accomplish, nothing to fear, yet I struggled. It was really, really hard. I guess we always have room to push ourselves, room to learn something we didn't know....room to still grow.
So I left on a Friday morning and returned on Sunday morning, with the two days in between spent...worrying. I never entered a state of peace, of letting myself slow down to really just “be.” Whether or not my fears or worries were rational, they refused to leave.
This is a poem I wrote early on Thursday afternoon, during a two-hour “test” solitary time.
Don't go any further.
And my mind filled in the blanks.
Snakes. Slips. Spiders.
Fears filled my heart.
And I almost stopped.
Gave in as courage gave out.
But I paused.
Took a breath.
Blocked out the fears that bound me.
And as I climbed higher
into clearer air and clearer thoughts
My demons are not extraordinary
They are the doubts inside of me.
Now, all of that being said, having recognized that my fears were simply products of my own creation, you would have thought I could have overcome them alone in the desert. But I didn't. There was always something else to do. Some scenario to create. What should I do in the case of?...
I'm restless already
I've read, I've written
I've read, I've written
I talked aloud without even thinking about it.
I was going to try not to do that.
What I haven't done yet is relax.
Don't nap, what if you sleep through dinner and can't sleep at night?
How can I set up camp to be as safe as possible?
Set ground cloth.
Pull out tent.
Reset ground cloth.
Set up tent.
Walk to the highest point one way.
Walk to the high point the other way.
Smack at all the bees and flies cruising around.
I need to slow down and be silent.
Find some silence.
Be still and listen.
Even lacking a plan, I created one. I planned my days around meals because I didn't know what else to do. That was the one way to divide that hours and hours that lay between me and...freedom. Freedom from this self-imposed kingdom of worry.
Just as the sun was setting Friday night, I experienced, briefly, peace.
I feel so blessed that the bird lives above me.
I just felt my first moment of rest.
Watching him fly laps over me
80, 100 times, back and forth
small wings flapping furiously
deftly darting back and forth, back and forth
the wings stop for a just a moment as he banks to turn around
you have to be quick or you'd miss it
the last glimpses of light
couldn't be spent better.