Tuesday, July 2

the art of living

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July 2011 

Two years.  Twenty-four months.  Some number of days, hours, minutes.

I don't know about you, but for me-- those words don't convey anything.  Nothing at all.

Does this mean I'm always in the present?  Hmmm, that sounds way too evolved for how I feel.  Aren't evolved people supposed to be free of the hurts and stings of life?  I like to think I have made progress but it is such an elusive, circling, spiraling movement, I can't be sure.

This morning the air is thick and humid.  The sky is overcast, the streets wet from last night's rain.  Cardinals call back and forth from the bushes on either side of where I am sitting here in the front window of the living room.  Henry and Daisy are languid on the floor in their state of suspended animation-- one part of them ever on alert for my move to the door.

First week of July 2011:  exact same weather. 

That is what brought to mind my ruminations about time-- two years ago this week we moved in-- I think it was like the 3rd or 5th of July, but don't quote me on that.  Can't be sure. 

What I do remember?

That first night was full of thunderstorms and uncertainty. 

That first morning was hip-deep in boxes and raw nerves.

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This morning?  A world apart.  Things are so familiar here they press right up to the edge of boredom.  A happy kind of boredom.

I cannot believe how much change has occurred in my life in two years-- most of it not visible to anyone but me -- and yet.  DAY-am! I have come so far since I landed in this little rented apartment on a small street in Providence.  I wish I could say all my lessons came in a box of chocolates tied up with a bow, but hey---

I am ever processing the events of my life -- wanting to do better, understand more, feel lighter --- for that very reason, I came in here a few minutes ago with the intention of reading back to what I wrote in July 2011.  HA. 

It always flips me out-- this time is no exception.

"Sometimes I go back through a particular volume
wanting so much to find an answer
or to feel that I am beyond whatever undertow
was pulling me down at the time--
and sometimes I find just that, but more times than not
(many more times than not) I find myself reading words
that hold nothing but the struggle
without any glimmer of redemption or purposeful growth.

And still-- I journal on. 

Maybe a part of me believes it will all make sense someday,
even though I know better than that. 

I journal on because it's my method of blood-letting."

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Last night I was reading in Epictetus' The Art of Living (I know, right?! am I the biggest bore you will ever meet?) and loving on so many passages that fed my spirit and helped me re-align my energies.  As always, ever grateful for people who write shit down so I can then read it hundreds of years later and think Dude!  You had it going on! Thanks for sharing---

This one in particular was still with me when I woke up (late, ugh -- late to sleep means late to wake).
"What is a "good event?  What is a "bad" event?
There is no such thing!  What is a good person?
The one who achieves tranquility
by having formed the habit
of asking on every occasion,
"What is the right thing to do now?
"

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Ahh, tranquility.  May you be my constant companion in the days, weeks, years ahead.

bisous, e

12 comments:

  1. Tranquility is flowing out of my computer screen right now...Thanks! I needed a little bit. I am in summer mode, and I wish this mode was all year mode. My pace is slow and lazy. The sun is out again today, and the cool breezes blow through open windows. Last year we were in Hades it was so hot. This year? Is Perfect.

    When I got *the job* I went back and read from the beginning all the entries about my work struggle. It was enlightening that I was struggling with some of the things I am *still* working on, and may always be working on.

    Can I just mention Henry here? He is the epitome of tranquil. Oh, how I wish I could snuggle up to him and take a nap. Kiss his sweet face for me will you?

    I love your words, Elizabeth. They wash over me so beautifully. Dude! You h[ave] it going on! Thanks for sharing---

    xo

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    1. oh Megsie. Why (why!!??) are we not neighbors? Would we not be like the BEST neighbors, ever? why yes-- yes we would. am loving on you SO, girlfriend! xoxo, e

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  2. Love your words. I love the gained wisdom, and how you describe it all! And your cozy home--love it! (I will never tire of dog photos either.:)

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    1. oh Cat!!!! you will never tire of dog photos?!! wow=-- that is a challenge I can handle-- hee. thank YOU<--!! xox, e

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  3. Love this so much...one of these days I will hug you, the pupsters and that freakin' star pillow! I kind of adore the "where's waldo" aspect of your little star and how it travels around your cozy nook in Narnia! xoxo

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    1. hee hee -- I LOVE that! it IS a wandering star . . . I wish I remember where I found it although I bet is would be pretty easy for someone (someone CRAFTY!) to make. I await that hug!!! xoox, e

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  4. Michelle Duncan WilsonJuly 2, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    I both love and hate reading old journal entries- Love reading that I haven't changed that much and.....hate reading that I haven't changed that much, you know? Thank you for writing about your life (and putting those beautiful pics on Instagram). I arrived at Squam last summer for the first time not knowing how much it would change my life, and your pictures and words inspire me to slow down and see the beauty that is here, right in front of me, even when my mind wants to think of problems, problems, problems ; )

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    1. hello lovely--- I thought I had written back to you? did blogger eat it? this might come up twice then but just know how I FEEL you on this--- so much the same for me-- and how much I LOVE that Squam opened you up to new avenues and reconnected you to YOU<--!!! and all your magic! xooxox, e

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  5. "Aren't evolved people supposed to be free of the hurts and stings of life?" -- Goodness, me! I certainly hope not.

    I aim for the ability to balance the hurts and stings, not to have them disappear from my life. I'm not looking for pain, nor wishing it on anyone else, definitely not. But, I don't think a life lived fully (the way yours so seems to be) is one completely absent of sorrows or worries or doubts. Just going with my gut here and my own experiences, but I do believe that I only appreciate the light as much as I do for also knowing the dark. If I never experienced the stings and hurts, I wouldn't be able to feel compassion. And, I think compassion is the greatest human emotion since being able to see and understand (even if only in part) fellow beings' struggles is what enables us to help and love one another.

    But you must know these things already since in seeking tranquility there is balance. And, like you, I'm pretty sure that my dogs teach me about balance, compassion and tranquility every dang day.

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    1. thank you Amy-- it's so nice to read through your reflections-- and yes, you're right there's no freedom from the experiences of life-- just wishful thinking, of course to have it all be cake! HA. sending all best, oxoxox, e

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  6. Two years. Wow! I can't believe it. I love the journey you have been traveling on and how much you appreciate each step of the way. Sending you so much love as new things open up to you and your world continues to blossom.

    xo

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    1. I love you Jennifer!!! love love love you so -- xoox, e

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thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e