11/12/2012

life moves pretty fast


I write occasionally about rhythm and balance and what I am learning to do to manage the wild ocean of this life.

In my modern, city, office-working life, I find it quite possible for entire natural seasons to pass by me, unnoticed. I pass comfortable days in air-conditioned cars, houses, and businesses. The soft, blue glow of computer screens and fluorescent lights can wash over me at any hour day or night. I buy my food at fully-stocked grocery stores that always have what I want whenever I want it no matter the weather. I measure my months in deadlines and my weeks in tasks or meetings. The consumer culture marks each year with "the new Fall TV schedule," "football season," and "the Macy's semi-annual sale." There are holidays as well, "The Christmas Shopping Season (starting on October 1)," "Presidents Day (Sale)," "Black Friday (or now, Thursday)."

For years I would wake up in the dark. Commute. Work in my office. Commute. Do whatever tasks and projects. Go to bed. Wake up in the dark... And suddenly, Summer had passed into Autumn and I hadn't roasted marshmallows at a campfire or floated down the river. I would leave my house in an Autumn rain and return in a Spring rain and have missed the fog and frost and the first budding of the trees. I registered no difference in my homogenized, climate-controlled life, which is really not life at all.

Real life is vibrant, pulsing with fire and blood and wind and magic. This world is a delicious technicolor symphony, not "PTA Beige." Life is strange and wonderful and beautiful and terrible, filled with peach blossoms and fat babies and death and war and sex and first love and broken hearts, sunrises and otters that play in the sea... And if I don't pay attention, I miss it. Ferris Beuller was right.

So for the last decade, I've been trying to attend to, and celebrate, the natural seasons. The next few rhythm posts will talk about what that looks like for me.

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