At odds with my world
its shape untuned
to my new found song
built note by note
step by step on the road winding long
from there to here
my voice no longer suited to its pitch
my strides now out of time
with its settled rhythms
This week has felt like a run from one end of the day to the other. Some of it was planned, people I wanted to see, things I wanted to do. A lot of it wasn’t. I have in my mind the image of a rabbit, zigzagging madly across a field, chased by a fox, looking for a quiet place to hide, but finding instead that it has to keep running. Every week I determine not to end up like this. I set aside generous portions of time in my diary. I imagine the long hours of writing I will do, the reflection and solitude I will practice. I feel excited at the opportunity to follow the deepening call to pour out the words in my heart and the thoughts in my head. But every time I am derailed. This week it was a number of things, all necessary and important, that swept in and upset my plans. My carefully saved blocks of time turned into short snatched moments at the end of the day, when I was tired and feeling used up by all the needs and demands of my life. Once again my creative time had to be stuffed into the holes left after everything else was done. I wonder how to balance it all out. I know I am not the first to struggle with these questions. I know that I want to be available to my family; I care deeply about that. My friendships are important to me and nurturing them takes time. There are my animals as well as my home and garden to care for. So many things clamouring for my attention, things I have chosen to prioritise.
But a shift has happened. I notice that even at the end of the day, when I am tired and tempted to give up, I come here to my little writing space in the garden and I do what I can. Even if it’s only a paragraph, I put some words down. I am beginning to understand that as I keep doing, as I move forward-even in tiny increments-I am making progress. It’s slower than I would like but it’s progress none the less.
“Skyscrapers weren’t invented by people with a lot of land, but by those who had to figure out how to build more offices on tight and incredibly expensive real estate.” (Roger Van Oech)
I am encouraged by that. I think that every day I choose to write is a good day. I can make the effort to carve out more time, to guard more carefully the times I have set aside. But on days when things don’t go according to plan, I will try to let it go and delight in the little nuggets of time that I do have. It’s so easy to get caught up in the image I have for my life and to lose connection with the real life I am living every day. Sometimes I miss the joys because I am so focussed on the unmet expectations. It’s a challenge to practice thankfulness on days that feel disordered and chaotic. But if I can be thankful, then I can celebrate the little victories and enjoy each writing moment, instead of being preoccupied with what I am not accomplishing. That will only rob those moments of their power and life.