No Nothing Really

Got a haircut today. How unspectacular is that? Went to yoga today. First class in a long, long while. I had a little cry, not long into it. Not the big cry I felt like I needed, but something. A release. More a trickle than a flood.

Swimming in politics here. And poignancy.

My period was so heavy yesterday, I bled right through my pants in the schoolyard. Luckily, they were orange.

September. My mother always says it’s like getting shot out of a cannon. No matter how long you were in school or how long you’ve been out, whether you have school-aged kids or no kids, September is undeniably intense. Poignant. Change is in the air, and I’m not just referring to my candidate of choice.

There’s a frost warning tonight in much of our region.

The windows are closed. Blankets we folded and shoved into closets are reappearing. Greg keeps asking me if snowsuits are under control, meaning, it’s time to get on it. Assess our hand-me-down situation, figure out what we need for the coming cold.

Summer’s over. I say this sounding kind of oblivious. Maybe it is having been thrust into that crowded schoolyard and what will now be years and years of public school calendars, but we are feeling it, I am feeling it, more than I ever recall in recent years. Last weekend, V started up with the Greater Burlington Girls’ Soccer League and Hebrew School, and suddenly we’re trying to figure out how to keep our weekends from turning into our weeks.

Coming home from yoga tonight, I got so freakin’ nostalgic. The sky was gorgeous. The sun was lowering down over the lake, which looked like a dark blue tile. The mountains in the east were literally a light purple color, so clearly outlined against the sky, reminding me of our Tucson days. We used to have a little view of the water from our first house in Burlington, and tonight I was suddenly longing for something about those first years here. I’m sure it has something to do with the fantasy of simplicity. How much more affordable our lives were.

Then I woke up, looked through the windshield at the tall pines on either side of the street. This is real, I thought. This pine tree. This moment.

I’m so aware of how much I judge myself. How much I expect perfection. How consciously I open the door when fear knocks, drawing in breath to gird myself against its lies.

“I missed them all day, and now that we’re together, I’m stressed,” I said to Greg on our walk home with Aviva and Pearl today. “That’s parenthood,” was his reply.

Really? Is that it? Walking home, ambling, meandering, stopping every minute or two in a new spot to play a new game, I was so aware of my resistance. How hard it was to let go of needing to get somewhere, which is what we seem to spend our days and nights doing. Struggling against myself. Even in class tonight, I noticed that impulse to get a pose over with, to get the class over with. But what happens if I just get my life over with?

Such a simple truth. Why is it so elusive sometimes, so hard to live out?

Today, I said to a client, “The why doesn’t matter.” Something about this resonated for him. He jotted down in his coaching notebook: “No why. Just do.”

Or maybe this: “No why. Just be.” If you’re not sure what to do, or the doing gets to be too much, too constant, too anything, than just breathe. It is so fool-proof. So fail-safe. So functional. So available.

Tonight, in child’s pose, I pictured myself trapped in my mind. I pictured the prison of thought I lock myself into so often. And then I imagined a door that I could simply walk through to liberation. And I immediately found myself someplace spacious, without boundaries or borders, filled with light. Filled with breath. Breathe that filled my entire body.

There was nothing to understand in that moment. Nothing to do, either. Or fix, or change, or improve, or prepare, or protest or preserve. So much more and so much less than all of this was suddenly mine for the asking and the receiving.

I spend most of my time in my head, literally lost in thoughts. I especially get lost in the thoughts about the fact that I am thinking so much. It’s such a double whammy. For now, I’m going to keep walking through that door into my whole self, the body that is so miraculously able to experience touch and taste, smell and sensation.

No why here. No how. Maybe not even a who. No nothing, really. Just an attempt to check in. To tell myself, as my awesome former therapist did so emphatically once, “This is your life.”

Image: David Friedman, Kabbalah-Art, “Big Bang

8 thoughts on “No Nothing Really

  1. Honey says:

    I remember over the holidays reading a book which started:
    “what if what you are now is the best you will ever be? What if you are alredy the best mother, wife, friend?”
    It freaked me out, that question really upset me because I am always STRIVING I always believe there must me more; to do, believe, think, know etc. But yes each day to really BE in the moment. That is enough, oh the relief.

    Like

  2. Mika says:

    This is creepy, you sound like you are in head exactly. But you are a step ahead of me, I can’t seem to let go yet, or stop my head.

    I love “just do”, my flute teacher used to say that all the time. He would say “stop trying, just do.” and I keep those words with me all the time. No judging, or working, or analyzing, or all the other things that “trying” or “why” implies.

    Let’s talk soon

    xx

    Like

  3. Holly says:

    jena,
    thanks so much for this one. i am so grateful for your words of wisdom and openness, and they help me so much.
    i envy your frost warning! enjoy the snap of cold and all it promises.

    Like

  4. mapelba says:

    Of all the important things you say here what sticks in my mind most is the mention of frost. It is so hot here!

    The beginning of a school year does affect our thinking like you said. I suspect the timing of the first frost does too.

    Like

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