Saturday, January 23, 2010


Smile for the Camera, Macy!
Isn't this picture a hoot? Macy can't decide which camera to look at (mine or the one in the she looks at both. What a ham! It has absolutely nothing to do with my thoughts today. I just thought you might enjoy it.
I've been on a journey of some sort lately. I've been doing the things that seem natural to me, without a thought of what I "should" do; following my bliss, so to speak. Of course, those things are pursued in the hours I'm not teaching or otherwise gainfully employed, which still comes first (though I like to think I'm building my skills for retirement). It's a paradigm shift for me. I have always been so devoutly goal driven. I'm trying to fight that urge, because I believe it blinds me in a way; to have my eye on some sort of an end result (an accomplishment; a goal) prevents me from living the journey. The journey has become so very precious.
It's causing me some difficulties. I'm rethinking my activities. I'm finding some of the projects I do pleasurable as I create them, but mildly embarrassing when people react to if they were produced for attention rather than the joy of creation. I don't want the attention, though as I accumulate the products of these explorations, I have to take them somewhere or they feel wasteful. I am so compelled to create; I feel a need to be productive. I've heard the theory that the compulsion to always be engaged in a project or "making", or any other activity that distracts you from quiet contemplation is simply a means of avoiding your inner truths. I don't quite understand that theory, but I do wrestle with it from time to time. I've lost my taste for self-analysis, however. I prefer self actualization. Even if it's a "simple" self. It seems to me that there are aspects of our personalities that we may never fully understand, and that may be a good thing. I do occasionally think that a loftier goal is in order; it has been a lifelong pattern of mine, and one that's hard to break. The seasons bring a different rhythm, though, a natural pattern of preparation and work that can be built upon each year for as long as you live. The "goal" becomes efficiency. I like that.
I had a discussion with a close, long-time friend last evening, over a glass of wine (the organic Chardonnay was wonderful!). We were talking about how much I like to cook and preserve, create and comfort. She kept referring to it as "nesting", which was enlightening for me. Nesting. Building comfort and safety. And it occurred to me that nesting is best done when more than one "bird" are present. I have many single friends that prefer not to cook for themselves; if they enjoy cooking, they have dinner parties. I have one single friend who lives in an attic. He does absolutely no "nesting"; his environment provides nearly no creature comforts, just an accumulation of the debris of his intellectual work and a few dinner plates and blankets. He doesn't need it. I wonder if I would lose the urge if I was alone, or if I'd just fill my nest with strangers. Would I still be interested in the things I do so passionately now? And if not, then what?
So, here's the question for my single friends out there: are you nesters? How do you satisfy that urge, if you have it? And if not, what's your passion? This inquiring mind wants to know.

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