A Constant Choosing

It was a bone-chilling week. The kind of cold that settles into your joints at the bend and into your skin at the folds. It dries out the hands so that all the lotion in the house won’t soften the creases. 
Sometimes an idea or thought can get into my system like that. If it’s a creative idea or a positive thought it can be a time of enlightenment and I welcome the process by which it grows. It becomes almost a part of me and I can tease out some expression and it can transform me. 
Sometimes it isn’t positive or creative. There are times that it becomes little more than an obsessive thought, and like the bone-chilling cold, it settles in and haunts me until the thaw comes and it can morph into something more fluid. 
(This week it was the obsessive thought.)
I have taken up my exercise again. Just my curls for now but I’m considering a plan to get back on my bike soon. It is on a trainer in my art room. I have no good reason not to be using it. It always comes down to discipline. In just a few short weeks light will begin to return to my evenings and I will return to my preparation for summer adventure. ( and yes. I know I’ve mentioned the bike on this blog more than once … )
( Oh, how I am longing for spring. )
It is Sunday and I have the luxury of a hot bath as the rain falls softly on the skylight. I find myself wishing for a larger tub. I want to be able to submerge up to my neck with my legs fully extended. I can’t do that in this one. I have to choose. I have to conciously pick a part that will remain exposed. Somehow this feels like a metaphor for my life. A constant choosing of what to keep hidden and what to reveal. It’s never an easy or obvious choice. 
After my week of obsessive thought I once again return to my very simple understanding of Zen. The idea that clarity will come from an empty mind, not one that is full to the brim with thought. Some days I try to sit quietly and meditate. I catch myself bouncing from thought to thought. My practice is in counting breaths, but sometimes it feels like a practice of constantly letting go of unwelcome thoughts. I feel so lost. Not lost in the traditional sense, but lost in my own practice. I won’t give up trying. In fact, it has become clear that I won’t give up TODAY. I won’t give up right at this moment … the only one that counts.
My plan for the summer is Mineral, WA and an art retreat. If that doesn’t happen, I am planning a week away somewhere else to really dig in to my art. I get these creative impulses and no time to really work them through to a natural conclusion. I crave that kind of time. I am also planning to do my first car camping and backpacking this year. I’ll start small. I don’t require anything epic. A private spot in the woods with time to read and write will be just fine. I think I have four books I have begun and abandoned. While I know time is an illusion, and the scarcity of time even more so, I can’t help but feel unfulfilled by clock and calendar. I have a sense of urgency around both.
( Oh, how I am longing for spring. )
Life around here is about to turn topsy-turvy. Kelly will have a knee replaced on March 6th and a role-reversal will happen here. She will be building up strength and healing, while I take on the role of caregiver. My hope is that my own body will be accommodating while the universe shifts. Not bearing the burden of work ( for me ) will be the best medicine I can hope for.
We’ve done the obligatory planning and will be prepared for what comes. The body is an amazing thing. The power of healing is strong. As nervous as she feels, is as confident as I feel. Knowing she can summon Gramp’s wisdom is a factor too. Just talk to that knee. “Ms Knee, you know what to do … “
Work is stressful. Change has once again settled in and every day is something new and unfamiliar.  I don’t even have words for how eager I am to be free of this place. The reasons to stay are becoming less compelling all the time. I’ll surely miss the faces and the daily chats, but I won’t miss the unravelling of the service standards ingrained in me so many years ago. I’m lousy at going backwards.
( Oh, how I am longing for spring . )
I’ll probably get out for one more drive/hike before March rushes in with her loud roar. I want to hear what the birds are saying, see what the trees are sprouting, feel the shift in the air as the warmer stuff begins to make its way closer. I feel better about everything when I can escape the din of my routine.
And yes, oh,
how I am longing
for spring.

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