I have been in the city the last few days. It was not planned but we unexpectedly finished the last 50 new traps, have them out sun tanning on my driveway, until temperatures rise enough for me to pour in the cement ballast to sink those little money makers in the depths of the ocean.
After only a few weeks Mali already seems like a distant dream.
I was hesitant to head out into public so quickly. I had already missed the first lecture session of the ones that were luring me. But as we set the last lobster trap out of the workshop I said to my son, “I might head to the city for lectures at the College. But I’m not certain yet.”
We walked back to the house and cooked up a little lunch. I then went out on the swing and just sat there a long time. The wind, sun, trees, birds, that plethora of dynamic creative energy fed and filled my soul. I did nothing but sit there silent for a long long time. Was not even thinking of anything much. Maybe it is the onset of older age, but silence works for me now.
Finally, around 2:30 I stood up quickly grabbing my backpack and within five minutes I was out the door after rapidly stuffing a few cloths in. Informed my son, and was out the door. Texted my wife at work to let her know my plan.
On the two hour trek to the city I exited a side road to check out the conditions at a trailhead of a trail i had hoped to hike the next afternoon. I had my snowshoes in the truck just in case. I entered the trail, rapidly trekking in about a half kilometre and found the trail was relatively snow free. So my plan was set for the next day.
That first evening lecture session was tough for me because both before and after, people approached me with the Mali questions that inevitably come my way. Thankfully, by the end of following morning lectures break times it was getting a little easier for me as I had figured out a fifteen second answer that seemed to satisfy most people. But it was a quip that in no way did justice to the whole story which I’m not ready to tell yet, and most of which never will get told anyway. I really do not want to do public speaking anymore. Invisible.
But it was good to see some people I had not seen in years. It was good for my soul.
However, I will admit that i have not attended a session, like the form of this evening session, for probably several years now. Awesome music, engaging speaker, great people. Not asking anyone to change anything. They don’t have to change anything, because there is absolutely nothing wrong or lacking with the event, or the people running and participating in it. But I will also add that there is also nothing wrong with, or lacking in me either, just because that package no longer works for me. I don’t need it, the formality, the stage centredness of it all is too much for me now. More of a distraction than a help. I have chosen to gather differently with people is all. Less an event and more of a gathering.
The lecture subject is about some of the very same priorities I had decided to put in place in my life since 2005.
But what I found is this; it is mpossible to succeed when I try to add these priorities into an already packed life. Like adding yet another component to an already stuffed life. I have found that this “add on” approach did not ever work for me, and in my observation, it is not working for most others around me either.
I had to stop doing everything else first, stip it all away, and then set up these things as my first foundational priority things and only then decide what this new focus would guide me back into doing. Truth is, most of what I stopped doing would no longer fit back in, and in some instances I ended up doing completely different things. That change looked a lot like quitting to many people around me. But I could not start something new until I completely stoped doing the old things. In my experience most of us need to stop the old thing completely to succeed. Tweaking just does not do the job. Only a partial surgery with complications.
We “do” too much, and we “be” so little. But, I suppose, being too much and moved to do little is not very well balanced either.
The speaker said that,
“If you focus on “being”, the “doing” naturally takes care of itself……
Focus on the center, and the circle will take care of itself.”
I could not agree more. So I am heading home now, to focus more on the center. Skipping the last nights session. It has been good. Thank you people.
But my sweet thing, and my fishing habits are calling me home. And home, fishing, and “sweet things” are good too. Back to some more silence, solitude, being.
The cloaking device is switched back on, and The Invisible Humanitarian just went poof.
“Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the fake self.”
(Henri Nouwen. The Way of the Heart)