Saturday, February 17, 2007

Being Productive

On my way to the airport this afternoon I was thinking about how I hadn’t really accomplished what I came down here (to SC) to do this weekend. I wanted to write chapters for my book, or at least look at the things I’ve been saving that I had written and organize them into some sort of cohesive outline so I had direction for the book. None of that happened, but I still had a great weekend doing nothing. No really, when I say I did nothing, I mostly sat around staring up at the sky (especially when the stars were out the first night) or at nothing in particular, thinking, or sometimes not thinking at all, just being.

As soon as the thought of “not accomplishing anything” came to mind, I decided I need to detach from the idea that I must be doing something in order to spend my time in a worthwhile way. Doing nothing and just being is also a good way to spend time, in fact, it is a divine way to spend time and is probably more productive than most people give it credit for.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Surviving Your Own Thoughts

A blog I read recently struck a chord with me. The guy said “sometimes simply choosing how you’re going to live the day versus survive it can make all the difference.” Last week I woke up one morning and my first thought was that I couldn’t wait to be back in bed that night in my warm cocoon of flannel and cotton, ready to escape the world again. My second thought was how wrong my life must be to have had the first thought as my first thought of the day. If you’re contemplating the fast forward button like it’s your best friend, then it’s time to watch a different movie.

Nothing had even been particularly awful in my existence, I just didn’t want to deal with the myriad of responsibilities that await each waking moment of my current situation. I know we create our existence and if I didn’t like what was occurring all I had to do was create something else, but my mental musings seemed like just another addendum to my to do list. Sometimes I get it up here :points to head: but it’s harder to get it down here :points to heart:.

I did eventually, grudgingly, roll out of bed and carry on with the monotonous chores that plague my every day, but that morning’s initial thought really bothers me because I’m not sure how to resolve it. I have to work to earn money to pay the bills so we can continue to eat, be clothed, and sleep in a warm, safe place. If I don’t do it, no one else will, but not looking forward to what I do all day sucks and no matter how hard you want to change things, they don’t happen instantly unless you have some kind of supernatural powers.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Obtaining the Perfect Star Tan

I’m at a friend’s house in South Carolina for the weekend. It’s built at the very top of a mountain, as evidenced by the rather treacherous gravel road you have to traverse to arrive at the garage door. I will definitely be in before dark each night because I can’t imagine going up or down that road with only headlights and no guardrails.

This weekend retreat of solitude was a Christmas present. Some friends think I’m weird for this, but I like to be alone more than most people. Not lonely, but alone. Big difference. Being alone gives me time to sort my thoughts, reconnect with my I.nner D.imension, and often leads to well written pages that will someday be published. (I literally laughed out loud when I realized I am on top of a mountain contemplating Life. How beautifully cliché.) Mark is a social butterfly and the traffic in our house resembles Grand Central Station, so alone time at home happens as often as the Yankees have won a Series this century. Yeah, think about that again.

This is the first time I’ve been to my friend’s house even though he’s been inviting me to come down for years. It’s every bit as gorgeous as others have said. A Great Room banked by a wall of windows overlooking the valley is the main attraction. My bare feet pad smoothly across cool hardwood floors, a perfect reflection of the vaulted wood beam ceiling. A small kitchen with custom cabinetry and all the modern conveniences opens to the side, and the pièce de résistance (besides the view out the windows) is a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, in which my pyro self has stoked the wood into something like a magazine picture, thank you very much. Even though there are two bedrooms, I’ll be on the couch tonight so I can lay here with the fire crackling beside me, and the stars above through all those windows. I’ll probably regret it in the a.m. when Mr. Sun reminds me that he awakens much earlier than I do.

After settling in and making all the requisite phone calls to let everyone know I am not a retard with directions, I made myself some dinner and waited for the fire in the sky to disappear behind the mountain. About 8:00 I dragged one of the summer deck chairs outside, grabbed a blanket and laid back, warm mug o’ chai in hand, to watch the constellations watching me.

When asked to select a date to go on this trip, I blindly pointed at the calendar and came up with this weekend. As it turns out, this is the perfect weekend to be on top of a mountain because the moon has emptied its light into the stars, and the clouds have graciously taken their leave to another part of the globe for this evening. We contemplated each other for a good 40 minutes in the 32 degree air. The winter chill eventually found its way under my layers of sweatshirts and covers though, and I reluctantly bid adieu to the sky after a shooting star made the perfect finale on the curtain of the Cosmos. It was a grand show.

Tomorrow I must venture briefly back to civilization and procure speakers for the MacBook as there is no stereo here and the only thing missing from the evening was music. I enjoy a good potent silence like that of the redwood forest in California a couple weeks ago, but as with all things, it must be taken in moderation.

More thoughts as they come. Or not.

A picture of the windows in this amazing house: