Today I’d like to talk to you about my favourite verb – be.
It is Thursday evening and I’m feeling fried. I work too much. And I can’t understand people who say they work 70 hours a week. I don’t know how this is possible. Whatever happened to legalising the 4 day weekend? What happened to our dreams?
I think I used to be a sociable person before I became a teacher. Now I just want to shut up.
All the cells of my body are vibrating to different beats. I am out of sync. I am shallow.
I feel like I don’t have too many good thoughts during the working week because I don’t have enough time to just be. And when I do have time I fill it with digital distractions, reflexively. I just want to be.
Let it be. Let her be. Let me be.
How can I get back to be?
Let it be. Let go. It will sort itself out in time. Release it.
Let her be, the mother says of the sulking child. It is through being that we get back to ourselves and realise we’re not actually mad. We just are.
Let me be. I need a break. I want space. I want to be myself. Accept me.
To be or not to be? Shakespeare was right – it is a conscious decision.
Back then I suppose those Elizabethans took some time to ponder their decisions. Time moved slowly without ticking clocks and they didn’t have as many choices & opportunities as we do today. Their brains were not caught up in a hurricane of images and right clicks. They had morals to consider, but not global warming.
Today we live in the greatest time in history for so many things – but with the cacophony of voices closing in, more and more people are turning to the practice of stilling the mind for personal sanity and to overcome pressure-cooker ailments, like stress and anxiety.
Smoking too is about being. That’s the appeal I think. When you smoke, you’re even allowed breaks just to be. You can go outside and be. If I was a smoker, I would like to smoke alone.
Anyway, the weekend is upon us and there will be plenty of time for being.
I’ve been thinking about this topic of being since last Saturday. I had felt scattered and dazed after the working week until I had enough time to be by myself for long enough. It took about two hours, one coffee, one nap and some vacuuming and tidying until I felt clear. Then this is what I wrote…
“The more I decluttered, the clearer I feel. I couldn’t face the page until I had cleared the way in my home. Cleaning as a creative act. Declutter the house, declutter the mind. Here I am, back to singing on a mountain top. Coffee has a way of uplifting the soul. Today I knew I wanted to detox and for me that means from electronic devices and other people’s voices – except for M’s. He is busy telling me about the history of man from the Stone Age to the present at every opportunity. That’s a lot of conversation. I have this overwhelming feeling to get quiet with him, to love softly and imperfectly. Ah this is the gold I wanted to get quiet for. I don’t want to move from our home here. I get attached to places like barnacles on the hairy green legs of a jetty. This is my nest up in the tree and I am the stork that comes back to it every year, every night. I am happy inside here. I just want to take care of it and love it, to clean and tidy our life up. This is the gospel. I shut my eyes and squeezed to see what was inside my mind. There were jellyfish pulsating in black water, neon white shadows. There is always a point of uncomfortableness to go through and it’s in those moments I want to reach for it, looking for something that isn’t there. It’s like restlessness before sleep, when the right position to get comfortable cannot be found. Getting close to discomfort. Get intimate, get into bed with it. In the silence we hear the universe.”
Presence is a choice, an act of consciousness.
The weekend seems to be for getting over the week. The weekend is for getting out of the doing mind-set and getting into being – if you let it.
I wish that every day was for being. I don’t mind doing when it comes from a place of being. In fact, I like it. Cakes get made, cupboards get cleaned, clothes get put away. Art becomes life.
Let it be.