Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beauty Breathes, Day Fourteen: I Stayed Still

Beauty Breathes, Day Fourteen: I Stayed Still

A few months ago, the chronically non-spontaneous Mr. Typist got all wierdly spontaneous, and we took off for a day trip to Snoqualmie Falls to futz around hiking and looking at rocks and such. We climbed over the barrier to the Falls--the one with the "severe warning" that everyone ignores--and clambered down to get to the river. We picked our way over to the rocks, and settled on a big flat boulder smack in the middle of the roaring stream. After a while of sitting there, I started to feel very disoriented. I was staring at the movement of the stream, yet sitting very still. The stream moved all around me, rushing forward with enormous force, and I merely bore witness, sitting zoned out, still and non-moving. But I then felt like I was moving; I lurched and got dizzy and had remind myself that my body was still, that the movement was an illusion. The river had a hypnotic effect on me. By turns, I lost myself in the river, then returned to my stillness on the rock.

Today, I participated in a health fair for a city organization that just a few days before, cut 20% of its work force. I was unaccountably sad for them. Many organizations and corporations have cut far more people, and I didn't grieve over them in more than a general, "tsk-tsk" sort of a way. Maybe it was because I felt connected to these folks through the health fair, but something about these cuts in particular made me very sad. After I came home, I found myself welling up over it. I told Mr. Typist that I was very upset about it, and he, being essentially Spock, explained to me they had a high probability of surviving this. I was cheered, then saddened again by another set of thoughts, another list of problems and worries. I felt disconnected, isolated, alone. I felt exhausted, but then just as suddenly energized by a call from a women who wants me to write for her fantastic new start up blog. We had a great conversation, and I felt connected, understood, and valued. I hung up the phone and told Mr. Typist about it, who immediately went into bubble-popping mode with his pesky online research, and said that they weren't getting many hits. Then I plunged into dejection. But then he congratulated me on getting the (essentially non-paying) gig, and I felt proud again. Then I wondered if I did the right thing.

Then I went to do dishes, and realized that I have been tyrannized by passing moods throughout the entire day. I had a moment of stepping back, of realizing that however hard it is to find, there is still an essential me, watching the movement and heave and momentum of my emotional state. There is a person within me, sitting still and observing the rush, that is not the rush. I was separate from the great momentum of emotions streaming through me, yet I didn't feel a need to deny that rush. It was a moment of grace and peace, and I am grateful for it.

--Kristen McHenry

1 comment:

Dana said...

I love that last paragraph, the insights there. And I love being able to peek in on you and watch you do dishes.