Sunday, June 24, 2012

This Pregnant Peaceful Calm

     I'm finishing up a week of stay-cation, a luxurious seven days of hanging out in our newly purchased loft with absolutely no agenda. Although I've seen my sons' band, BearKnuckle, perform twice this week, necessitating an overnight trip to Athens, GA (with accommodations graciously provided by Aim-Why, my friend of almost 30 years), I've mostly just been relishing the process of doing nothing at all. It's true, there are many things that I could have been doing, things that might be perceived by those more industrious than me as "productive." I could have focused all of my energy on researching options for replacing our kitchen cabinets and countertops, all of which are poorly constructed and in varying states of disrepair, or on estimates for custom-made blinds which would actually fit our windows, instead of hanging lopsided outside the sill. I could also have organized this burgeoning stack of papers on my desk, cleaned out our refrigerator, and shopped for new overhead light fixtures.
     Believe me, I thought about accomplishing all of these tasks. I even went as far as purchasing two types of hard-wall hangers for the multitude of paintings and photographs that still need to be hung. It's not that I'm lazy or unmotivated; at some point, all this stuff will be dealt with. I've think I've simply divorced myself from the nagging sense of urgency which comes from worry and regret, from ruminating about what it is I could have done or should be doing.
     The truth is, I don't want to miss out on a moment of now. As I write this, I am sitting across from my husband at the desk we share, as fully aware of his sighs and subtle movements as I am of the dehumidifier's psychedelic-sounding vibrations, Simon and Lilly's snortling and the intermittent tinkling of the tags on their dog collars, the welcome coolness of the concrete floor beneath my feet, and the sun's ascent as its sultry rays issue through both of our skylights. This pregnant peaceful calm is soothing, sensual, almost addictive. I can't seem to get enough of it. Although I'm focusing on writing, my thoughts are free to come and go, as if I'm meditating. Immersed in the pleasures of the immediate present, I feel relaxed and carefree. By doing nothing, nothing is left undone.* My body rights itself without any conscious intervention, naturally and effortlessly. It does what it needs to do. If I think about the fact that I'm falling, and actively interfere with my "muscle memory", I tend to become injured. It's really not ironic, then, that my greatest disappointments seem to occur when I think too much or am overly attached to my expectations, while the best things in life happen serendipitously.

*A paradoxical quote by Lao-Tzu, who posited that non-action is the purest form of action, a concept entirely different from passivity because of its emphasis on trusting nature's intelligence where events occur naturally, instead of being forced.
Me and Aim-Why, Athens, GA

BearKnuckle & friends in Athens, GA (my twins, Nick & Rory, who play guitar and bass, respectively, are pictured in the center)

BearKnuckle, Norcross, GA

9 comments:

  1. For being more about nothing this was a pretty deep thought you had. Now, I think I have time to go wash my bike before heading off to work. Made me think of my own to do list, the difference is that I am actually lazy and find reasons not to do mine.

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    1. I had total writer's block today, so I just wrote what I was thinking about. I also need to wash my car, but have procrastinated.

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  2. Great writing, as always, Kris! "This pregnant peaceful calm"--how beautifully said. For me too the peaceful energy is where I find the most enjoyment of life and being. It's always a pleasure to read your thoughts here :)

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    1. Thanks, Ananya. That peaceful energy is what keeps us going, especially as working moms.

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  3. Great post. Sometimes I think we need to have those moments where we do nothing and think about nothing in order to clear our minds and be productive again. Also, looks like you had a great time with your sons.

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    1. Yes, indeedy, Kristina! My down-time was very productive and I had a blast seeing my sons rock out.

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  4. Great post, Kris, always love your writing. This subject, as you can well imagine, is right up my alley. I've constructed a marvelous life for myself on this very principle of "doing nothing." I have no idea why people feel driven to be productive, when not being productive is so much more fun.

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    1. Marty, I am finding this "doing nothing" approach to life to be very high yield in terms of my overall outlook, attitude, and physical well-being. I love feeling calm and happy. What took me so long? Better late than never, I suppose! :-)

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  5. I can think of nothing better to do than doing nothing at all.

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