Friday, August 21, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing


I thought you were supposed to prune trees in the spring, but they just did a lot of pruning in Lincoln Park. I must be mistaken.

Spaciousness is a good thing in every way I can imagine. I'm talking about having enough personal space, of course, but that's not all. The spacious mind has room for inspiration, revelation. Spaciousness of heart makes possible an easeful flow of love in and out. Spacious breath means your body gets all the oxygen it needs, and can let go of all the carbon dioxide it has no use for.

Having a spacious schedule is also a great thing, a rare thing in DC, let me tell you. People pack their calendars so full they don't have time to blink. I really get the carpe diem, life is short, time enough for rest in the grave concept. And, too, the folks I know have big jobs, families, kids and partners who all need their attention.

Having time on my hands is a crucial aspect of my Plan to Stay Sane. I hate rushing around more than just about anything. Having to hurry up is the major cause of anxiety for me, so I've constructed a life that has lots of wiggle room in all areas (well except financially - it's a tight squeeze there, but worth it, at least to me).

Since Jake died, all the time I spent caring for him, feeding, walking, petting, bathing and worrying (especially during the last year of his life) has been freed up. Since I already had plenty of space built into my life, I'm feeling at loose ends. No way I'm ready to get another dog just yet; I want to explore what it means to not have a dog. To be honest, though, I'm finding that exploration extremely daunting. I had fantasies about being very productive during this time, but mostly I'm sitting around, fretting while twiddling my thumbs.

Too much spaciousness is not great. Too much space is emptiness, hollowness. Too much space, too much time, is a lonely condition, simultaneously sad and boring. As you can tell, I'm not enjoying it. Next week I go to California where I'll be hanging out with great old friends in San Francisco and up at Lake Tahoe (and new friends, too - Nancy of Life in the Second Half).

You can't imagine how much I look forward to a big ole get together with people I love. You can't imagine! No, really you can't. Wow.


The blue sky looks like it has been placed on top of the soft white cloud cover, doesn't it?

22 comments:

willow said...

Your big ole get together sounds like just the ticket! Fun. (my f-word)

GYPSYWOMAN said...

i totally agree with willow - your get togethers with old and new friends = FUN! good for you! time to re-energize re-group re-coup and more - so enjoy - have an incredible time and bring back lots more beautiful stories and photos -

NanU said...

Having just the right space is a delicate equilibrium. Just right one day is too much the next and not enough the day after that, so you're constantly adjusting, too. Have an excellent time with your friends and I'm sure you'll be making those changes easy as breathing again.

ellen abbott said...

I know, you need a hobby to fill up that extra time. Maybe you should take up tatting or scrapbooking or chain saw sculpting or you could travel. Oh, wait, you're already going to do that.

glnroz said...

Hope you have a great time seeing your "buddy". I do enjoy my friends. You read the "dry dock" He and I get together quite often. ....Sometimes you are unaware there might be a small spot of emptiness until that spot is visited by someones smile. thnx

Reya Mellicker said...

Chainsaw sculpting? Wow! That sounds fun - and dangerous.

I don't know what I'm going to put in that big emptiness. I've got a busy weekend of work, then next week my journey. After that, according to my spirit guides, I'll know what to do next.

Amy said...

A trip. Good for you! I agree with you about too much emptiness. I much prefer things a bit more crowded and "full."

The roof of that building in the bottom picture made me want to see the rest of the building. Great shot.

Ronda Laveen said...

Yes, Jake's transit has left a vacuum. But that space will slowly fill again. If you can get a little further north, e-mail me. My table is set, ready and can have your name on it.

janis said...

Have a wonderful trip. Enjoy yourself & Breathe.
I am finding some spare time too, in taking care of little things for my daughter that I didn't even think about. I suddenly have extra time... I am so not complaining! Maybe I can start those quilts sooner than I thought :)

The Bug said...

The year my husband had a fellowship to do research on his dissertation was one of the worst years of his life. He didn't have a "job" or the stimulation of talking academic shop. His friends were busy or had graduated & moved away. He sank into one of the deepest depressions he's had since we met. The next year he adjunct taught & it was as if a light came back on inside him.

So, yeah, I'm kind of afraid of too much space...

Have a great time with your friends!

lakeviewer said...

Ah, a bit of adjustment here. No, it is not a bad thing. You get to explore with no committnments. Go on, try doing nothing.

Linda Sue said...

my dog, Dexter, is so much a part of me as Jake was to you I am sure...Sometimes I wonder how it would be to jump in the car and go, just go on my own, no pooch with his props- I can not imagine. Your loss makes me so sad...

Pam said...

Had these times too in my life. I look at them as "treading water".Soon you'll be back in the flow with those friends of yours.Isn't it funny that sometimes we are given space when we don't need or want it, other times we scream for it.Adjustment after Jake cannot be easy.The trip will be wonderful, and fun. Looking forward to some interesting photos and tales.

Steve said...

That does sound like a terrific trip, Reya. I hope you have a great time!

It makes sense that you're still adjusting to Jake's departure. I think your fretting is probably still mourning -- maybe it's too soon to make this time "productive." (I'm sure it already is productive in a way you can't perceive yet.)

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Reya—

I saw a quote and thought of you:

"Every leash has two ends. You cannot control without being controlled."

In regard to spaciousness: it seems we need some of it, but not too much. We need just the right amount to resonate with what is.

steven said...

turn your screen on its side - easier if it's a laptop - look at the blue as if it were a pastel smearing on a pale blue-white background. you'll see a person, by the side of a river - see the person's reflection in the river.
there's lots of space in that scene.
the journey is an opening. there's no doubt.
see you.
steven

Nancy said...

Yay!! Only a few more sleeps!

Mrsupole said...

Funny that you write that about the pruning, because I am waiting for it to cool off a little more before I get my gardeners to prune everything. Then I will have hubby go around to "adjust" them just a tad to the exact way I want them. I think you can prune twice a year. I know that you should plant grass really only twice a year too. Both at the opposite seasons too. Maybe it is the same with pruning.

And yes, if you are using it as a metaphor for changes in ones life then it really would be nice to only have changes twice a year. But then again, it might make for a very boring life.

I hope you have lots and lots of fun and drink lots of prune juice. Oh all right, I think lately I have been too focused on prune juice, but it will make many changes in your life if you drink it. Things start to move, and the old is pushed out of the way to make room for the new.

Geez, I almost sound like one of those philosphers. Hehe.

God bless.

Reya Mellicker said...

Mrsupole you ARE a great philosopher!

Barbara Martin said...

Your trip away, Reya, will be just the catalyst you need for your next steps into the future. Have a good time and try to tuck a few hours to be by yourself and listen to surf come in.

Bee said...

I'm someone who loves the spaciousness and knows how much I need it, but I also totally get what a kick it can be to meet up with friends and have an intensely crowded week or so.

I hope that you have a wonderful time in California, Reya.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Reya,

Thank you for the compliment, I only hope that someday it could come true, but thank you for believing in me now.

God bless.