The dream of my life
Is to lie down by a slow river
And stare at the light in the trees—
To learn something by being nothing
A little while
but the rich
Lens of attention.
— from Entering the Kingdom
by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets, and this small excerpt from one of my favorite poems illustrates what I am longing for the most at the moment.
Somehow, even though my intention is to focus, to distill, and to pare down my activities, I seem to fill the void with new things. Whereas projects, volunteer work, or just an abundance of ideas. There can be too much of good things.
So as I prepare to send my youngest off to school, looking forward to a fall filled with alone time, I want to regroup and take stock. I think I know where I am going, or at least where I want to go. But there seems to be much physical and mental clutter along the way.
I want to learn to enjoy each moment and each place a little bit fuller, instead of constantly thinking of what is ahead. I want to spend less time entwined in social media and other online endeavors. I want to use what I already have rather than consume something new. Most of all I want to work, presenting something meaningful, beautiful, and sometimes useful.
Next up is a trip to Cleveland, and a workshop at the Morgan Conservatory, where I will meet up with friends, old and new. After that my family and I are beach bound. I am hoping for many moments to lie down, to learn something by being nothing but a rich lens of attention.