I opened LJ this morning to write for the first time in a long time.
One sentence of an abandoned draft from last spring opened on prompt:
"This year has already been embued with kairos time...the day after Hailey returned to Davidson, I succumbed to the blues."
Given the course of this year, it seems right to preserve this cryptic statement. From March through June, I was a bundle of feelings, and not good ones. Like fuel for a bonfire, my days were subsumed by unwanted and uncustomary thoughts and emotions. Eroding events of the previous year and a half - congress eliminated funding for TAH projects; four or five years of faculty position apps came to naught; work at the barn trickled to one or two clients -- coincided with my realization I have been very good at giving others a launch into careers and hobbies while somehow not nurturing my own. A bitterness that had lurked for months if not years in the hot coals of disappointing events suddenly roared into a fire I couldn't contain.
And so I began to walk away instead of fighting the flames.
I left the barn where I had worked,
laid off my mare and didn't seek a second horse.
I cut off contact with two or three people who only connected when they wanted or needed something.
I began walking every day.
And recently, the mantra "stop striving" came to me on one of those walks.
It's the antithesis of what we admire in the U.S.,
of what we post about on FB,
of what we tend to talk about when we get together with friends.
But right now it feels like peace to me, it feels like the place of balance.
When I feel myself sprinting back toward the flames,
if I summon the mantra I can slow and turn my steps.
There it is.
A story of me.
There's no pride or ending.
Mostly it's a story of humbling,
with my own reaction to diminishment being the most humbling part.
But at least I do now have a personal answer to the riddle
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
In 2014, it's peace.