Rachel

September again

fashion woman notebook pen
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It’s clear I haven’t posted here every day as was my stated intention on August 3, when I thought about how to end this project, looking back at how we’d begun.

I liked trying to post every day at first, for a while in the middle of August. It drew out the days, marked them, protecting them from simply flying away. I don’t share the feeling that I’ve heard from so many around me that the summer flew by. For those of us lucky enough to live in a land of abundance, it always tries to fly. If we want to hold onto it, we have to be intentional about slowing down, not just intentional about reading articles about it, dreamily gazing at photographs about it. We have to really think—What makes the weeks feel like they are fully lived, not racing by, not getting away from us?

Yoga and writing, and within those practices, deep breathing, music, meditation, those are the best ways I know how to accomplish that pacing that feels closer to what I remember from childhood. Practices that help us returning again and again to the moment we are in.

I think looking past and forward can help too, though a Buddhist would likely disagree.

Throughout the summer I would stop and think about how many weeks had gone by, what we had done during them, what plans still lay ahead. During bouts of insomnia, I would sometimes think down to the day and the hour since summer began, trying to remember everything. It’s not that I’ll be able to, but even the attempt made me feel more deeply rooted in the season.

—Rachel

 

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Rachel

Looking Ahead

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I have been thinking about the “end” of this blog project. We began on September 20 last year and hoped to go for a year. There’s still month and a half left, so part of me wonders why I’m rushing ahead to think about ending. Is it because of the back-to-school displays in the stores? The constant, obsessive forward-looking gaze of capitalism that is always pressing us to ask, What else? What more? What next?

The thought—it’s almost over!—is motivating me to want to write. What more is there to say? What can I see better now than I could last September? Did it “work”? (Did I practice more yoga? Did Kajal write more? Did the practices enhance each other? How did the collaboration go?)

Now is my favorite time of night. Pre-dinner (and someone else is making the dinner!) It feels like a moment when—sometimes— I can think more clearly than at any other point except first thing in the morning. My view gets wider. Certain items have been checked off the To Do list, and others remain there, nagging, but the nagging feels weaker, the volume turned down.

(BTW, there are ads on this site, regrettably. I guess that is because we are not paying for the blog. Maybe in my next project I’ll pay to get rid of the ads. For now, forgive me. Somebody owns WordPress, and that company has to make money somehow, I suppose.)

I have decided to try to post here every day through September 19. Gretchen Rubin’s books irritate me a bit (the unacknowledged privilege, the endless free time), but the advice about how blogging every day is easier than 4x/week makes sense. It is like exercise. Instead of wondering—Should I write today or not? Should I practice yoga today or not?—you just do it, every day, it is just part of your day, effortless, or accomplished with great exertion, but before you turn the lights out, you will do it.

This didn’t post, so now I’m at a different moment, after dinner, younger child asleep, husband watching obnoxiously loud Practical Jokers. (Somehow the plan for him to watch with bluetooth headphones didn’t pan out – they are never charged!—an item on the To Do list always left undone.) There’s a little bit more work I had planned/hoped to do, and laundry, and soon my energy will drop precipitously. Part of me hates to admit it after 10 years playing guitar and bass and singing in bands, but I really am a morning person. I am trying to “own” it. (Meanwhile my son is playing monopoly with a friend visiting from Virginia and my husband is asking, “When does it end? When does it end? That game can go on forever.”)

—Rachel