Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Permission for peace

Peace eludes me. Most of the time.

It always feels like there's something To Do. My husband occasionally jokes that I am often in a hurry "to go nowhere". I see the truth in this. Manufactured urgency feels tremendously motivating (dare I say, rewarding?).

I was tickled to hear this monologue by Ethan Hawke's character in the 1995 film Before Sunrise recently:

You know what drives me crazy? It's all these people talking about how great technology is, and how it saves all this time. But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work. You never hear somebody say, "With the time I've saved by using my word processor, I'm gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out". I mean, you never hear that.

Remember, that was before the internet and email became broadly available. And mobile phones were still the size of bricks!

But I think it's true of modern life,  beyond the ubiquitousness of technology. What good is time saved if it is not spent -- even squandered -- on rest, relaxation, reward?

The most peaceful moments I spent in 2013 were the ones when I gave myself permission to do nothing. I mean stare-at-the-wall or gaze-out-the-window-at-the-garden nothing. Sometimes, this was because I was too physically wiped out to contemplate action of any sort. Other times, it was pure laziness. I just let the associations jump like frogs on lilypads, not even bothering to try and keep up.

With a new baby entering my life this year, the moments of peace may be more elusive. Then again, I am rather hoping that the temptation to sit and hold a newborn and gaze in wonder at the miracle of it all, will win out over everything else.

We'll see.

I am responding here to the eighteenth prompt from #reverb13. You are warmly invited to share your own response below, if you did not have the opportunity to do so in December. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. x

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