Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I would...

Sometimes I think in terms of the things I would do "if I could..." You know the line of "if-thinking" -- if I could only do what I wanted, I would do these things -- play in the dirt every day, stay up reading until my eyelids fell together or the book was finished, travel around the country and the world, at whim... If I could, I would...

It's that kind of thinking that often spirals me deep into a place of "I can't... do this, or that, or..." and eventually, I can't do anything except sit in one place and breathe. It's a frustrating place to be, and perhaps moreso, a frustrating place to watch myself go as if I can't truly control it or turn myself around.

I have moments and times when I feel especially gifted at asking good questions of other people -- of being able to say quietly, and gently, "What would happen if we looked at this another way?"Of asking, "Does it have to be this way, and if not, how can we change it?" I am rarely that gentle with myself, and therefore am not often able to change my own perspective.

Today I sat down and thought, "If I could, I would play in the dirt every day..." and a little voice said, "Why can't you...?" and the thought continued, dancing through my mind, to say not just "Why not?" but to say, "How could that be possible, and what would it take?"

I suppose that if I could, I would want to have such clarity all the time -- I would want to stop the spiral before it began. For now, though, I'm grateful that I had a moment of thought-shift ... for my dirt-playing, world-traveling, late-night reading indulgences. I'm holding these questions gently so that I can ask them as other dreams float to the surface and instead of saying, "If only..." I can ask, "How..."


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Oh isn't it so very hard to see over the sides of the ruts we dig with our daily routines and especially with our "shoulds?" I'm more than a tad older than you and I like my routines, but when they are disrupted, like they have been for family reasons the last two weeks, I'm both disappointed and amazed. I'm amazed that I've seen and thought about things at certain times of the day when otherwise I'd be in that old rut/routine. And I ask myself why do I do certain things the same all the time? Why do I so seldom sit on the deck and just look at the birds and the leaves? I think that the good thing about going somewhere on a vacation is that we aren't in our usual rut and so we allow ourselves to think more freely. We need to do that at home too. Dirt will keep.

Well, that last sentence wasn't in reaction to what you wrote, but a partial memory of a poem that my grandma cut out of the newspaper. I'm not at home, so I can't quote it to you, but it was about how the baby's smile (etc.) won't keep but dirt will keep.

So go make a mud pie with your little one.

Iris said...