Doing something

It’s a snowy day here in the Northland meaning winter remembered us after all. I was thinking about back in the day that waking up to a snowy landscape was the signal for a do nothing kind of day. Schools would be closed and the sound of snow plows and blowers would fill the air. Of course we also had buckets more snow than the whimpy snow day we are having today but with this winter of snow drought we must take normalcy as it comes. Winter normalcy that is. In the Northland snow days are a part of our winter tradition. So I deem this slightly snowy day a mandatory do nothing kind of day. There was really nothing else to do!

I forget the importance of doing nothing when you are in the process of birthing something new as I am. A pregnant woman at the end of her 9 months is not the go getter she use to be at the beginning of her journey. Birds start sitting more on the nest as the egg closes in on its awakening. A seed lies silently in the ground alive with inner activity right before exploding when the plant bursts forth. The wintertime is the necessary down time before the activity and rebirth of spring.  Winter may look like a time of silence and doing nothing but it is anything but inactive.

It is in the stillness of a free day and during the long idle hours of liberty that daydreams of what tomorrow can look like abound. I sit looking out the window at the snow daydreaming about where I am heading and what changes my life are going through. I am lost in the thoughts of what if and maybes and am consciously creating my tomorrow. I feel guilty because I am doing nothing but my head is filled with thoughts. I stare out at the wintry scene and notice that such stillness makes the silence suddenly less silent. Soon I hear the church bells I have never noticed before and I listen as the birds on the feeder are fighting over space. I can hear the wind blowing. I looked out at the day and wondered what it was like out there.

In the seeming stillness of that beautiful winter scene I stepped onto my porch for what was a decidedly unstill moment. The wind cut through my robe and pjs like I was naked, it blew my hair into my face and then it began pouring snow down my neck. Feeling not so tranquil I realized the sudden noise of the door opening startled the deer across the street and I watched as she ran off forcing the kids to follow. I stood there disheveled but still as the wind made the trees bend and howl. The birds were still singing and the snow itself was making a soft swishing sound. It looked still and silent from the inside but outside it was anything but…

I came back inside and made another cup of coffee. It’s a snowy day out there and I don’t have to do a thing. It’s a snowy day look, my car is trapped in the garage, my backdoor is blocked by a snow drift,(tiny as it is). I checked the refrigerator for food, and cream, I checked the cabinet for cat food and coffee and since it maybe a long day I checked for wine, all good. I took my coffee back to my favorite reading chair, tuned into some classical music, grabbed my book and began doing nothing at all.

I sat lost in thought as my mind went moving through daydreams cascading through all the future scenarios before me. It is a snow day outside and the inside of my house is still and tranquil mimicking the scene playing outside of my window. I sit silent in my chair seemingly doing nothing at all while the entire time the inside of me is a buzz of activity just waiting to burst forth. I sit in silence doing nothing while I am so doing something.

Why is this thought trapped in my head?

Why is this thought trapped in my head.

What do you want? What is that you said?

as I forget again the thought trapped in my head

But I felt it, sensed it, it filled me with dread

the thought hovering like a ghost forgetting its dead.

Go away and leave me thought trapped in my head.

It goes after me again, bastard I cry back to your grave

You are trespassing on hollowed ground unwelcome stupidly knocking around

It stood fast and bashed and bashed this thought trapped in my head

I tired of arguing and told that thought I would soon be dead

I spoke with determination and fell over like lead.

I hated that thought trapped in my head

I closed my eyes and held my breath but that thought hung around it never believed what I said

That stupid thought trapped in my head

But I showed it I kept myself quiet holding still and laying low.

That thought searched for me first above and then down below

It was really quiet when that thought struck its final blow.

silence was all I said to that stupid thought trapped in my head

Silence is death was what the thought said

Silence indeed as I shook my head to that trapped thought in my head.

Silence, that thought was dead.

that stupid thought tried to be trapped in my head

Crossing bridges

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
Henry David Thoreau
 After being in Sancerre where life is so quite and tranquil being in Paris was the direct opposite. The city bustled with life, art and and plenty of beautiful people. Being in the city was great but I was still plagued with feeling lost. I had thought I would know what to do by the time I got to Paris. I had thought sometime during my time away an answer to what is next would come, I am always hoping that! But some magical cloud did not descend over me and a voice did not inform me of my next move. I had no idea what I was going to do.
Oh how I dislike the feeling of being lost. The above picture is of a bridge on the estate at Versailles and I remembered thinking of the number of women whom had seen that same bridge as they walked the grounds lost in their thoughts of quiet desperation. How many woman across the expanse of time had been just like me lost in thought and speaking to our inner most being, “is this really it, God? Is there nothing more to life than this?” And their lives had surely been more of a prison than mine. There was a heaviness in my chest as I walked the grounds it was my last day and I would be on a plane returning home the following morning. What I despise more than being lost is going home.
What a sentence, right? But I know what it means for me to be home, there or here, I return to nowhere to do nothing. As my inevitable return approaches I feel this familiar ache inside of me and it smacks of failure. A voice barely audible laughs and says,” See, you can try to leave but you will always go back. You can try to break away but I have you and you will do as I say” I hear the evil witch draw out my curse, I am screaming with my hands covering my ears, “No, I am supposed to be free”. I closed my eyes and saw myself sitting on my couch at home looking around I saw my cage, my hand-made prison and it was all around me just waiting for my return.
Just as I was on the edge of insanity by the impending end of my trip my daughter thought to lure me home with Lenny Kravitz tickets. “Come home by the 7th and we can see Lenny in the cities” Ok so how could I disappoint my daughter like that? Now there was no other choice but to return back to my hand made prison, frowny face, but I was going to see Lenny, chin up, I was going to see Lenny with great seats, smiley face, No choice but to return for now that is!
It has taken me well over a week to feel some what normal. I am not sleeping and I am not happy being surrounded by the dead of winter and a fricking fugitive to the cold. I can see that it is beautiful outside it’s just that I will turn to stone freezing to death if I go out there said with a dramatic flare. Even the cats have been prisoners to the cold irritating me with their sleep all day and be awake all night bull shit! Have they ever heard of jet lag!
This morning I was thinking about that walk in France and I remembered seeing that bridge. While I was deep in thought of the prison I was returning to I walked right past it. I did stop to look at it and thought it interesting enough to take a picture of but I didn’t cross it yet I could have. Just like in these last few days while I have been feeling a prisoner to jet lag, a prisoner to this house,and  a prisoner to this weather, I have become a prisoner to my thoughts. This morning much less cold thank you God, I thought of those women so long ago who unlike me had so few choices but could only dream of the kind of freedom I could have if I took it. I would dare to say that most would not even understand the vastness of the freedom of my new world.
To move through this prison of my thoughts I closed my eyes and went back to the moment I passed the bridge but this time I am going to cross it and go a different direction. In the present moment lies all the freedom we could ever imagine. We are going nowhere we haven’t already been and we are being reunited to that which never let us go. It does not matter where we go or if we go we take our prisons with us and the key to our freedom is usually tied around our own necks. I know all of this by experience so in my mind’s eye I stepped onto the bridge. Time to forge a new path.
To move out of your prison look for a door or look for a bridge to cross. That bridge on my walk looked well-worn yet nearly disguised by the path and surrounding foliage but it was there for everyone to see shooting off in a direction for any one to go. Was it dangerous this road less traveled maybe, was it a long forgotten short cut, maybe, was it the ‘right’ way, maybe, or just maybe it was another path filled with new adventures, probably.
While I cross the bridge I will listen to the voices of the women who have crossed it before me and then after I get to the other side I will lend my voice of support to the next woman who thinks to look at the bridge and take the tentative steps down a new road, away from the prison of old worn out thoughts towards a vastly new version of herself… See you on the other side
🙂 smiley face!
Said with a little sarcasm I hate those stupid smiley face emoticons!