Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Lost in transit

Back to work today. I’m the only staff member in the office. While outside the wind and rain that crashed all night come slowly to a halt, in here the silence resounds. There is so much to do. Back for eleven weeks and then the decade or so spent working here will be over. This feels so strange. There’s something very liberating, of course, about a time of transition. But how do I generate the energy required to leave things here in reasonable order? How do I start to look forward – which I must – when the future isn’t here yet? I don’t know. How do I live well enough, productively enough, realistically, tolerably with this not knowing? How do I nurture the raw aliveness and curiosity I occasionally feel and minimise the lostness and numbness that threaten to overwhelm? How do I find words, when this weightless vacuum scarcely seems to support them?

Coming back to what is right in front of me is always a good way. The River of Stones flows again this month. It’s a small and magical practice. Stop. Look. Here you are. Right here. Right now. What do you see? Pay attention. Write it down. I’m kind of amazed and very glad to still be doing this a year after the first attempts. Do have a go, if you haven't previously - or if you have!

10 comments:

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

A really truly happy New Year, Jean, with all surprises being welcome ones.

"Letting go" has become one of those ubiquitous New Age clichés, but it still makes good sense.

Dorothee said...

A very special happy new year to you. May it be a year of magical moments for you.

And a thought: is there any chance to make space for this transit time, at least to some degrees? to give the future an open space before findig a more defined way, to think not "lost", but "open" - i know, it's not easy. but reading your lines, i felt a part of you doesn't want to be put from one plan into the next. (or maybe i am projecting myself here, in the time of ending a job that took more and more of me)

Beth said...

Jean, I hope openness to the future become the dominant theme of the coming weeks. As one who moved recently, I know the feeling of wanting to leave everything in order, but I also know I probably did more than necessary. Your primary responsibility is shifting to yourself, after many years of doing for others and being consumed by the process. That's scary but so, so wonderful.

Vivien said...

Jean, I think you're doing the right thing in leaving your job. I did a similar thing - leaving a crushingly busy university admin job in 1997, and it wasn't easy - finances and uncertainty about the future, and moving from London to Oxford soon after, were all very, very hairy! But it all saved me from going round the bend.

I really think you could have success with your photos, which are individual, not like anyone else's.

Anne said...

Half a life ago a man I loved then said to me: "You taught me to notice little things." Perhaps that was the best compliment I ever had.

But you teach us all to notice things we would never otherwise see.

Your new life will be well spent, I know.

Tamar said...

Dear Jean,
Happy New Year. Probably all has been said to you already about your decision to move on - like closing of doors and opening of windows etc. How scary and exciting all at the same time (from one who has done this quite a bit!!). I shall be watching and bearing witness and wishing you well, well, well as I hold you in my thoughts.
Much love and many smiles,
Tamar

Fire Bird said...

echoing many of the sentiments above, Jean. Hold on tight and let go :-)

liliannattel said...

The photo with the gate and the reminder to be mindful makes me think of something else I read today, a link from another blogger: http://tarrantworks.com/articles/PityToWasteAGoodCrisis.html

Dale said...

(o)

PeterAtLarge said...

I'm stoning, too, this month. It's a great practice, a nice daily reminder to take a breath and get back to the present. I wish you the best of all years, and fulfillment in the freedom on which you've set your sights!