Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rainy Moment

Photo taken by Kevin Moul         Taos, New Mexico

Rain this morning.  Wet, falling leaves.  Dark, ominous sky.  Warm, cozy house.  Hot cup of coffee, with just the right amount of cream and sugar, in my very favorite mug (the one my husband and little one picked out just for me at the Fall Festival), warm fleece, quiet, a good book next to me. Did i mention quiet?

Despite the coziness of this rainy autumn day, despite the time to myself, the quiet, and the good cup of coffee, I'm restless.  And anxious.  Like i don't quite know what to do with myself.  It's not that I'm not happy doing exactly what I'm doing, it's that I feel this pressure (coming from almost four decades of living in this world) to be doing something else.  Like it really isn't okay to sink into the quiet and peace of a rainy day.  Like kicking back with a good book and listening to the rain, is what lazy, unmotivated slackers do on a Wednesday morning. 

Like I should somehow mold myself to fit someone else's idea of  what it means to be productive and useful in this world. 


Amazing how the mind likes to mess with what could be a perfectly sweet and peaceful moment. 

Here's what Eckhart Tolle (from his book A New Earth) has to say:

"Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time.  The joy of being, which is the only true happiness, cannot come to you through any form, possession, achievement, person, or event--through anything that happens.  That joy cannot come to you--ever.  It emanates from the formless dimension within you, from consciousness itself and thus is one with who you are."

"When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image.  Through becoming less (in the ego's perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward.  True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form."

So, for now I will do my best to quiet this mind of mine, or at least to stop resisting it.  And sink a little deeper into the perfection of this rainy moment.


  1. Beautiful post! Thanks for slacking to give me this gift of your words!

  2. This is far from a judgment on "productivity" or "slacking", but I read it soon after yours and I thought you would be provoked...(love you, friend)

    posted by Christine Mason Miller:

    Someone emailed a while back, lamenting feelings of losing the love she once felt for her work. One sentence in particular struck me, when she explained that what she was doing felt more like a job and than a passion. I did not have time to delve into all the thoughts that came swimming into my mind when I read it, so I scribbled a few words on a post-it note and ruminated on the ideas for a few weeks, thinking about all the ways expectations, fantasies, and ideas of what constitutes a passionate life shape the way I’ve viewed my own artistic path. Where is the line that separates a passion from a job or does one even exist?

    As these thoughts and questions simmered throughout my week at Squam Art Workshops (SAW), I couldn’t help but think about a similar spark that caught my attention at the 2008 SAW gathering during a panel discussion with the teachers. An audience member asked everyone on stage what rituals they did each day to get themselves in a creative mood, and I found myself wanting to jump up and say, “YES!” to the answer Penelope Dullaghan gave. I am paraphrasing, but it was something like this: That sometimes she isn’t in the mood, no matter how many candles are lit or rituals are performed; sometimes she wakes up grouchy and tired but she has a deadline to meet and – wait for it – this is her job. Ritual or no, it is her job to create, so create she must do.

    In those moments when I would love nothing more than to skip along the sidewalks all day, nap, see a movie, and read, I always have a choice. I am an independent artist and have the freedom to take on as much or as little as I want. It could easily be said that I take on too much, but I approach my work with a take no prisoners attitude because I consider every opportunity to do the work I do is a gift, a gift that is being offered to me because I have worked hard. I followed my passion and - I still can’t believe I get to say this - my job is to create, write, and share my work.

    There are plenty of days when things feel out of whack, when I ask myself, “Is this what I really signed up for?” When I started my greeting card line Swirly in 1995 I certainly didn’t anticipate having to spend day after day packing orders of cards. Running that business was a job, let me tell you, but it was my passion for what I was sending in all of those boxes that kept me going. And that’s the deal – when a passion is pursued I need to release the idea that I’ll wake up with bluebirds tying ribbons in my hair and sunbeams streaming through my windows. Pursuing a passion is work. It is effort and time and being willing to take on more than is easy to handle. It is, in the simplest terms, a job.

    When I stop feeling that the work I do supports my passions – when the river I’m traversing seems to be stuck in a swamp instead of feeding into wider channels of joy and possibility – then it will be time to shift my direction…and think about changing jobs. But whatever title I ever hold the work will always be part of the package, and only through those efforts will I find my way to the wide open sea, beautiful lands, and passion fulfilled.

    “Most people don’t recognize opportunity when it comes, because it’s usually dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work.” ~Thomas Edison

  3. how did i miss this? i know this conundrum well... you finally have the moment, and well, where did the spark go...then you have the spark, and the child needs you..etc. and the pressure that you'll never have enough time, energy...whatever. looks like you found the words you needed.


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia