As I sit here in the deep twilight, candlelight warming the walls of my home, I pause and wonder if I am satisfied enough to stop. Stop cleaning, stop working, stop trying to make more of my day. Stop.
I’m on vacation and using this time in the way I feel best for my spirit and soul. Or attempting to do so.
By the first I mean that I am staying home, enjoying the world that I have built for myself, from the physical enjoyment of how I’ve decorated and arranged my rooms to the basic pleasures of living I consider most important: stretching, ritual, writing. I have gone to places made favourites in childhood that are still beautiful to me. I have spent time with friends. I have read. I have eaten great food. I have seen movies. I have surfed the web and even watched a bit of tv.
By the second I mean that I have been distracted from my highest goals of my vacation. My list of what is important to me is, it turns out, in order of importance. And I have regrets that I spent less time in writing than I had planned and more time in the movies and the web. I have even avoided writing with a judicious application of house-cleaning.
My house is better for it, but my story isn’t.
The story is a child of mine. A child I am afraid to bring to term. She still rests in my belly and will until the editing is done and the queries start flying in flocks out into the world. The longest gestation in history.
The closer I get to her birth, the more afraid and reluctant I become.
And this week I am getting very, very close.
And so I procrastinate and avoid even though I have longed for and waited for this chance, to have the time sitting in my hands, no, freeing my hands to do what I love, without boundaries, without alarm clocks, without a list of ten other things that have to get done now too.
Even now I write this rather than edit my story. But this I find congruent with my inner spirit.
Today has been an extravagence of avoidance.
Strangely, it was spent primarily cleaning my home. I mean really cleaning. Vacuuming under the couch, washing under the stove kind of really cleaning. A little magical cleaning was thrown in to boot.
My home feels great. So good that I feel very relaxed and have cheerfully lit candles in nearly every room (small tealights in proper receptacles because I’m crazy, not stupid). This is the state of clean I always want my home to be in and so very rarely see. It’s glorious and I am thrilled that it’s like this.
I am heartbroken that I did not work on my story.
And I am torn between appreciation and anger (at myself, of course, for choosing other than my supposed primary goal).
Ah, that is the heart of it, isn’t it? That I had told myself that my primary goal was to finish this book. And yet I stray from that goal. It was and is one thing to stray from it when pursuing the other goals of my vacation, but it is something else entirely to cheat on my goal with some random movie or etsy surfing.
It’s not as if the finishing of it is a ‘fake’ goal, something I tell myself but in my heart don’t care about. No, it’s very real and I enjoy working on it. And so it is my fear holding me back. Ah, the theme of my year. Fear.
But in the end, that will be something to face tomorrow, to see if I can do what I currently plan for it. Which, yes, does include some work on the story.
For now, I sit, watching a movie, typing in a blog, and enjoying the peace and clean charm of my home.
And realize that at the centre of me, past the pleasure, past the disappointment, there is stillness. It is accepting. It is peace. It is neither of those things.
I have stopped.
It is good.
~the Abysmal Witch
2 thoughts on “Stillness”
I love this, and so resonate with the whole process. I am a cartoonist — my passion and bliss is drawing comics. Yet even when the time is set aside for just that, I tend to find other distractions and run through the gamet of emotions that you describe. It was very familiar.
And somehow, despite the judgement of self and the guilt of procrastination, it’s still all in perfect order, isn’t it?
Thank you. Now I know I’m not alone in this.
Right back atcha, good to know I’m not alone in this crazy creative tug-o-war. 🙂