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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from ashley)

Spending a few days traveling gave me some time away from painting and crafting and left me with space for thinking about how these activities fit into my human experience.   While we were away, Spring had dissolved into a chill rain and I felt mildly depressed.  Yesterday morning I made the bed my dwelling.  All morning and some of the afternoon I  burrowed under four layers of blanket, trying to recapture the energy of a warm wind.

I love wind.  It energizes and refreshes me.  When it rushes past my skin its as if the little particles of time are given voice.  Ordinarily, time creeps by, so stealthily that I only notice it once its logged away in memory and journals.  But when the wind blows, time moves out of an abstraction and into physicality.  The swiftness with which it passes is maddening in the loveliest of ways.

But this morning, it all seemed dire.  Keenly aware that the time particles were dashing by, I felt so unsure about how I should be employing them.  I often cogitate in pictures or little movie shorts and this is what I saw:

I was treading water in the middle of the ocean, I couldn’t see land and I wasn’t sure which way to swim (this really happened to me once when I was saved by fishermen after falling asleep on my float).  It felt desperate and raw and I was getting tired with anxiety.  I knew that I didn’t want to tread forever, but I didn’t know which way to swim in order to escape that fate. 

But then, like the tide bringing in bits of shiny shells, I gathered some clarity.  While the direction I chose would certainly affect my journey, one direction wasn’t “better” than another.  Depending on my decision, I might swim for years and finally land on a small island, only to walk across and swim again.  Or maybe I only swim for a week and land on a massive continent and live out my days as a land dweller.  But each of these possiblities, at this point,are  not in my control because  I can’t see a landmark and I don’t have a compass.

There are countless ways to spend a lifetime, deciding on the particulars is daunting.  But for me, I think the truest metaphor is swimming in that ocean.  In this speck of time, I can’t be sure which direction I’m heading, but that’s second to choosing priorities and pursuing them.  Eventually, I’ll discover just where these priorities have led me.

site of aforementioned near drowning

site of aforementioned near drowning

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