Saturday, May 11, 2013
Driving Into the Direction of my Fear
I slept in this morning until 7 am. I woke to a slight patter of rain against a window and the cat meowing at the same, with a strong desire to be with me in my warm bed. Initially I felt a creeping fear that I had missed something important. What day is it? My mind searched. Saturday. You finished your final last night and you're 'free' until the summer semester begins.
Immediately, I mentally sifted through my responsibilities for the day. The Junior High semi-formal tonight means a trip to Wal Mart to buy the supplies. My kitchen ceiling is still baring its guts and needs attention. When do I pickup the girls? I need to rearrange the schedule so they can go with their Daddy to their cousin's first birthday. Pay the bills. Pack for Washington. Get my roster and playbook ready for the modified coach to cover my game next Friday while I'm away... and on and on... Some days the list is so overwhelming I wonder why I chose to assume so many responsibilities. But I remember the joy I receive from each facet, each niche in which I am blessed to assume a role, so that my doubts are usually swept quickly aside.
If the sun were shining my plan was to wake and scrape the porch of last year's paint to prep it, but as it wasn't I decided I would enjoy a cup of coffee before heading to Potsdam to volunteer my time with the construction of the Building Blocks Day Care. Now, you may think scraping a porch (or putting up sheetrock) to be dull work, but I would tell you there is little more satisfying than that to me. It is a job with a quick reward. It is a thing of peace to see to the repair of it with my own hands and hard work. The cracking, splitting and peeling paint scraped raw then repainted and gleaming a bright white. My mind falls to solitude at times when my hands are busiest. That in itself is is a blessing. My mind races like a NASCAR driver. Putting it in idle, letting it rest, whether through manual labor or meditation, is a part of my calm.
Finding my calm has been and continues to be a daily goal. The pace at which we live our lives is so hurried, we sweep aside the basic moments which are often the sweetest and those meant to be most appreciated. We rush to and from activities, living with time as a master. I would leave the control of that pressing second hand whenever possible to be more in tune with the moment. I find that amidst the daily events my mind is often filled with a noise, an awful static that accumulates. It must be released for me to feel capable of continuing on my path.
And this is one of the reasons why, over my spring vacation, I went on a solo vacation which led me on a loop which I drove from Denver through Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, then back into Denver.
Many people wondered why I chose to do such a thing. I myself, a week before the trip, awoke from a deep sleep in the middle of the night, feeling suffocated. I sat up, searching my mind for the answer to my sudden alert state. It was fear. I felt the fear of the unknown. Of setting upon a journey, however short in duration, in which I would be a lone traveler.
I allowed the 'what ifs' to consume me for a few moments. Then I put them aside, knowing this isolation was integral to me. It was what I needed. I wanted to feel the wide open space of a sky, and feel both intensely small within the scope of life but also supremely connected to it. I wanted to be like Thoreau. I wanted to go to a place and live intentionally, but not into the woods, into the wide open places in the west. But I would pause here because we should all read Thoreau now and again:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.... I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms."
This entry must come to a close because I must rise to greet the day. But I hope to return to my story of travel another day.