Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


Out of sorts... in a good way

I've upended my existence by neglecting to do something for the past two weeks that I almost never have before: read. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I can't focus my eyes on the written word for more than about two minutes. I get distracted. I get (heresy, I know) bored. I feel tired. This will, I know, soon pass. I love me my stories. But I am enjoying my strange break in some odd ways. Reading so defines my concept of myself as a person and writer, that I find it a refreshing challenge to explore who I am apart from nose-in-a-book me.

Has this ever happened to you?

For me, I find that old bits of myself are creeping up from quiet rooms of habit I had forgotten I had. In the stead of a book in my hands, I've suddenly picked up handcrafts. I used to love being crafty (in the purely creative sense). I've drawn a bit, pulled out the calligraphy pens I begged to get for Christmas about a decade ago, and dusted off my sketch pad. I've sewn. I walked into the craft store the other day in search of embroidery floss and came out with about twelve new colors. The sheer feast of the sheeny things. Color sates something in me. I could have bought the whole lot of blues just so I could stare at them, compare the ever-shifting hints of mystery in their tints and hues. Color is like scent to me, a heady, strong aroma that overwhelms my senses.

I've also been quiet. Just sat. Watched the birds nesting beside my window (and waking me in the morning with their tapping). Watched the irises open on my sill. Watched wind and cloud dance across the tiny stage of my one window.

And music. I don't often enough give the whole of my attention to song. It usually competes with something else: driving, talking, the clatter of dinner, the distractions of my newest book. But this week, music has been an end and presence strong enough for the whole of my attention. I feel as if I have tasted the notes in some of the songs, I've heard them with such clear cut poignancy.

Sometimes, in seasons of weariness or transition, the old ways we have of being get shifted. It's not that we lose our old selves, or forever reject the activities that defined us before, yet there is an opening up of hands and mind that allows new loves and drives to emerge. Or old selves to sing again. I think my lack of reading is the result of my future being rattled and shifted, and the subsequent settling. I find it good though. It feels like that first hint of green in wintered grass, and the points of daffodil leaves when they first break through the soil. All the old forms of tree and earth will remain, but life is springing up and new winds are blowing and change is coming and... it's good.

Sarah Clarkson5 Comments