Watching As If

It’s been quiet here in this corner. Or so it may seem. While on the exterior, all may seem calm and business-as-usual, but on the interior, it feels to me that my thoughts have packed up and gone on some sort of walk-about. They are suddenly quite elusive. They are here. They are there. Over there, wait, back over there. They are everywhere in between and can’t quite seem to stay in one place for any measurable amount of time.

Mercury

As if my thoughts are separate from me, I sense a certain kind of reluctance on their part, to dive or delve too deeply into one particular area, but on any given day, it can feel like I have a multitude of thoughts that surely have some kind of velcro quality. I think, or rather find myself grasping, hopefully, that at least one of them has some kind of sticking power and then when I go in, dig deeper, and try to wrap them in some sequence of words, it’s as if they have taken on the nature of mercury, ever elusive.

When I was in high school, my best friend was the chemistry lab assistant and had in her possession, a key to the lab; on some days, we’d sneak in during lunch. We’d also open the lab cabinet and pull out the vial of mercury and watch it dart around on the smooth, slick, cool, black marble counters in our lab.  I would try, earnestly and with amusement, to capture a bead of it with with my fingertips, and the outcome was the same each time; it was here, but when I went after it, well, it was over there.

Just like my thoughts.

So, I decided I needed to step away from them, it became far more frustrating trying to harness these thoughts that insisted on a vigorous game of hide and seek. I leaned in to the elusive nature of my thoughts, which has been equal parts mystifying and liberating. As I allowed that space, I began to observe my thoughts as if watching the clouds; they took on a nature of their own, and it finally became apparent to me.

They needed to.

I realized that while the thoughts themselves have been plentiful and scattered, and – yet somehow – what feels as shallow as a kiddie pool, it is likely an important part of this crazy process. It has been a big couple of years and one day while driving my normal route to coffee and work, I was suddenly and wholly irritated by something so very inconsequential. Trivial.  I was upset with my own flare up and how I felt.

Cranky pants really don’t fit anyone very well.

And, it occurred to me, this notion of how big things can awaken us, get us on top of our game, get us to deal with adversity, conquer a fear, overcome a challenge; we dig in and we dig deep to get things done. Where when we are jolted in some way, by change, by loss, by something new and novel, all engines can fire up.  We can summon focus and determination.  We can overlook those trivial moments. And, then when we find the time to rest, that same power can somehow seem to re-calibrate and downshift from whirring and humming to well, just ho-humming.

There is a natural limit, I think, to this reservoir of extra that we give to things in these contexts; that makes sense. All things need replenishing after awhile. Gas tanks. Our bellies. Light Bulbs. Batteries. Nothing runs for ever without a a recharge. Including us and our brains.  My brain has tackled some large matter over the last few years – endings, beginnings, changes, hellos, goodbyes, heart breaks, heart expansions, all of it.

I suppose that my thoughts retracted simply because they were  tired and need some replenishment.

I realized only weeks later,  that on that ill-fitting cranky pants day,  that my reaction to the trivial incident of nothing more than a very slow driver in front of me was indicative that maybe I was relaxing, that perhaps I was beginning to enter a replenishment stage; and I had ample room to be too focused on something so trivial I think. And while that is a beautiful thing, as any of you have been through the big bad messy life things, there was also somehow a void. A lack of direction. A weird kind of emptiness.

In this same time of big things, I have learned, more than once, that when things feel like they are going to be hard, or hurt or be confusing, or just plain ol’ icky, that instead of resisting it, to just lean in to the difficulty and that by leaning in, that somehow, things don’t seem quite as difficult.

It’s taken me months to get my arms around this, to realize I needed to apply this same concept to my mercurial thoughts.  And, to be honest, I was thirty thousand feet in the air, with white puffy clouds below and about three hours of sleep, trailing somewhere behind me as I corralled some of these thoughts, at last.

I needed to watch as if…

flight

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22 thoughts on “Watching As If

      • Dave – same to you, happy to be of service! Though I hardly think (see what I just did there?) that you can barely muster thinking about anything. Just a hunch. Or should I say, just a thought?! 🙂

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  1. Hey Bonnie!

    I totally know what you mean. I’ve spent the better part of this year working on letting go and getting present. It’s working. My thoughts have slowed down and I’m so happy!

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    • Hey G – so good to see you here, always! Letting Go – save for the overplayed song that I won’t dare mention – it does work. It really does. It just takes work. I am so happy that you have found a new speed for yourself, that’s awesome!

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  2. I don’t know what to say, Bon-Bon…..except that I too played with mercury back in the day….and still do. Always striving to capture what simply cannot be…. Strive ~ strive (str v) intr.v. strove (str v), striv·en (str v n) or strived, striv·ing, strives. 1. To exert much effort or energy; endeavor. 2. To struggle or fight . Thrive ~verb (used without object), thrived or throve, thrived or thriven , thriving. 1. to prosper; be fortunate .

    You’ve nailed it, my dear….you are thriving! May I join you!!! ♥♥♥

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    • You played with mercury?!? Of course you did!! I love that! And yes, exactly, always striving to capture what cannot be….lovely example and reminder. And of course you may join me, I thought you already had!!! 🙂

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  3. Sometimes it’s hard to ‘go with the flow’, but I find it’s the only thing that can help me. When too many things happen at once, thoughts need to disperse because it’s just too hard to focus on everything. Hang in there, Bonnie. I’ve missed you xxx

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    • Dianne, thank you and yes, exactly! The whole forest for the trees thing, perhaps. And oh, it’s nice to have been missed, I’ve missed being here too! ) And yes, sometimes it is hard to let life’s current carry us where it somehow knows we should be. When we lean in, give in or just allow the space, it’s such an important reminder that this is all part of a greater partnership!

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    • Jessica, I just love your comment and thank you!! I have missed being here – that was part of the frustration with it all!! But we cannot force these things. Going with the current is sometimes what we have to surrender to.

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  4. Thank you, Bon, for the inspiration to lean into the ickiness. I’m proud of you, your strength, your growth, your delight in learning more about yourself, the amazing Bon. I leave for DE Monday. You will be missed but always in my heart and I know in Beth’s. Luv u

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    • I am so glad that my way of leaning in, just giving way to the ickiness can be of help to you my dear! That makes it all the more powerful of a way to be. Safe travels to you – pour a third glass for me, and then drink it!! 🙂 xo

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  5. Mimi is right…and so are you. I hit that same ‘now what’ stage when the wars became battles became skirmishes became ‘just life’. I was wandering around waiting for the ‘next’ big thing…only realizing that in my waiting, I was missing something pretty important. Instead of embracing the quiet, cherishing the time to sit and think of everything and nothing at the same time, thanking the powers that be for my survival through the worst, intact and likely better for it…I was worrying and conjuring and standing ever on the precipice of the next fall. I had my epiphany some time early June, when I realized I was trying to focus on and capture a thought, something to hang onto, talk about, feel passionate about…but I realized I was the one blocking the light. Funny what can happen when you move just an inch to the left or an inch to the right…and let the light shine through. I’m happy you’ve realized you ‘needed’ this time, happier still that you are allowing yourself to need it. Very important Bon Bon…very proud of you. Love you tons.
    R

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    • I have to say I went unwillingly, trying to force thoughts into words one too many times when I just finally threw my hands in the air, so to speak, and realized I was not in charge of the timing on this one. It was only when I allowed that that could I see any of it. I love how you put it…that you realized you were the one blocking the light. It is so true, how we so often are the ones to get in our own way! Happy too, for you, for your epiphany and moment of catching the rays coming from none other than bright shiny you! xoox

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  6. Ah Bon, the universe is giving you a respite – and when we run at 100 mph, that pause feels wrong, we’re out-of-sync, etc. But you my friend, are totally in sync – whether your thoughts are scattered and elusive or focused and present. We can plan, but the universe is going to work on its schedule. And as much as I don’t want to invoke the overplayed song from “Frozen”, the hardest thing to do is also the easiest – let it go…xoxo

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    • You are so right, it is both the easiest and hardest thing go to – just step away for a bit. I think we find ourselves in a certain cadence from time to time and when it changes, we can find ourselves looking around thinking – hey!? 🙂 The Universe usually seems to know what I need, so I am just going to go with it! 🙂 xoxo

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