Sunday, December 4, 2011

Intersections of Fate

Mercury is retrograde right now, something that allegedly is supposed to mess up communications, plans, and progress on many fronts. We are cyclic beings living in a cyclic universe. I believe the movement of the planets is, in its own way, exactly like the movement of my thoughts and actions. As above, so below. I'm not the first person to experience the worlds as interconnected, by the way.

Since Mercury turned retrograde on Thanksgiving, at the dark moon, during an eclipse, I decided to take the reverse motion seriously. That means I've been trying not to make plans all the time (my habit). Also I've been resisting the urge to expect life will unfurl as I think it should. For a control freak like me, this is challenging.

One fun thing I've been playing around with is the practice of improvisational walking. It's a perfect shamanic dance of alignment with Mercury retrograde. An improvisational walk involves wandering "aimlessly", allowing myself to be guided by whim, intuition, or situational curiosity. These walks have nothing to do with running errands or accomplishing anything. I allow my body to guide me, pausing often to ask myself, "should I turn left or right here?" then going with the first impulse. Sometimes I turn 180 degrees, retrace my steps. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm nuts. Perhaps I am.

Here we are, seconds after coinciding.

The practice has yielded many wonderful serendipities. For instance the other day I ran into an old friend in the middle of an improvisational walk, someone who moved to Austin, Texas many years ago. I haven't seen him in more than 10 years, but there he was, coming out of a chocolate store in Union Station at the perfect moment for the two of us to coincide.

This morning I took an unplanned walk during which I ran into far more than the usual quotient of client/neighbor/friends. I also arrived at Peregrine Espresso just as someone was leaving, so I had a table to myself (very rare). There are other examples of serendipity, but you get the idea.

I wonder sometimes how much the habit of fanatically planning of my days constricts rather than organizes the way life unfolds. Like with everything else, a balanced life involves some planning, some aimless wandering. Finding the right mix is an art, an alchemy, an effin miracle, isn't it? I think it is.

Happy Sunday, y'all.


Cyndy said...

Isn't it fun to walk around aimlessly with no sense of purpose whatsoever - you never know what might happen! That's when free time is really FREE I think. More people should try it.

ellen abbott said...

Oh well, that makes sense. Marc and I have been sniping at each other for no real reason all evening.

The Bug said...

I have a pathological aversion to planning anything. I like to just only go on the spur of the moment. The problem with that is that I'm often not very motivated so not much happens :) Mike & I have been saying "yes" to more things this season - our version of aimless wondering. So far so good!

BTW - I've been feeling down lately - I was blaming the progesterone my doctor is making me take, but maybe it's in the air instead.

Reya Mellicker said...

Dana what a fantastic typo - aimless wondering!

I am so into aimless wondering!!

The Bug said...

LOL - that is SO funny! I made the same mistake with the same word on my Saturday post. (I had Mike wondering in a cemetery). In that one I decided that either word could be appropriate too :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh. Yeah.

Pauline said...

This is a happy post! Improvisational walking hold great appeal for me and I often do just that. I walk to the end of the driveway and let whim carry me left or right, down the road or through the fields, into the woods or out in the sunlight. Those walks yield far more productive mental activity than planned trips.