“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” — Roald Dahl
In the last few weeks, my struggles center around pieces that are not working. My focus is frayed at the edges and my face demonstrates the stresses and worries that I choose to make my story line. Perhaps it is the closing of yet another season that elicits these darker hues of regret, sadness, and blotches of not feeling good enough. I often feel like the origami paper my daughter works with, if one fold does not bend in the right direction, the overall design fails to work. My tendency is to react and become impatient. Much of my personal mantra is to let go, but I fail at this practice. I hold on. To hurt feelings, to sharp words, to slights that are so inconsequential I am embarrassed to admit how much energy I spent analyzing motivations that I will never understand. This energy fuels a toxic aura that effects the lens in which I view my world and its ripples manifest in how I treat the things that are most important in my world, whether it is becoming short with my daughter or lacking inspiration to write.
At least 2 times this weekend, I sat down to write and nothing happened. This feeling is quite disconcerting for the writer. The blank page is often daunting, but this time, I detected an unease that does not usually accompany when I sit down to write. I walked away from my desk, hoping to return with some muse or inspiration. I did not return to write, instead I chose to sink into the other details of my life, shuffling my daughter to a playdate, getting together with some friends for brunch, and watching Homeland with my husband. Taking a step back, I thought, could help fuel some better energy for writing.
I awoke this morning still startled because the words felt clogged. It reminded me of the days when I mowed my lawn as a kid. I kept pulling the cord to start, but kept failing. On what felt like the hundred try, the mower started. This morning I decided to sit down again and try to tackle the barren canvas. When my mind is stuck, I often turn to my quote journals and the today the words, “watch with glittering eyes the whole word,” resonated. With this nugget of wisdom, I began to look at some pictures I captured over the last year. And indeed, I needed this reminder that my world is not entirely contained in just the edges, but the world that surrounds it. And it is beautiful, everything that lies between the silence and roar.
This is a picture I took on the way home from an errand one evening. The sun setting behind the mountains always offers a sense of holiness that I not only can see, but feel.
This waterfall that I captured on camera in Maui. The downpour of water had a rhythm that I can still hear. I know when I witnessed it I uncovered something sacred.
Our daughter is an instant reminder of what is so wonderous about the world. This shot is of her recent dance performance. There is so much I learn from her everyday. How to love, to forgive, and of course, how to watch the whole world around you.
Hi Rudri….What a great way to re-direct your focus to what you really want to experience in your life . I think we all struggle with this from time to time but I’m proof positive that the longer you do it the easier it comes to me. I have been writing now for about 25 years and when I first started I had a business with writing deadlines….but because the money was very important for my family I learned that I could indeed write something (maybe not my very best work–but something) even if I didn’t feel good, or had a headache, or was troubled by something horrendous. Now I know that I can always write under any circumstance and then go back later to “polish” it if needed. I never thought about looking at meaningful photos but I can see where that would also be of a big help. Thanks for sharing and for the wonderful quote about watching the world around us. ~Kathy
Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. Pictures often serve as a way to reflect and remind of the goodness that I’ve experienced.
I am certainly comforted by your observations regarding writing. I do believe much of it is in the practice.
Nice to “meet” you Kathy. Thanks for stopping by.
I so understand. So often I feel discontent…not sad, as I tell my family, but unhappy just the same. No one really understands, but at the root of it is a dissatisfaction with myself. I am never content with my efforts, even though I feel at peace and content with myself. It’s hard for me to separate my achievements from my being. But as you say, I don’t have to choose to make that my life story, right?
Oh, I absolutely love this post, Rudri, and somehow it was very comforting and just what I needed today, as my cold continues after having taken a difficult turn over the weekend.
I appreciate your honesty here as well as the lessons. I’ve been there too, stuck in the over-analyses and then the guilt of it all. I also find it hard to write sometimes. Sometimes I’ll go on a good streak, but if I’m going through something really difficult emotionally, or if my body isn’t optimal, then I can’t write. I’m just grateful that I started writing book reviews because the words require less emotional energy and commitment.
I love the idea of looking through photographs as a way to heal or see the world differently. I will definitely add this to my list of coping mechanisms. Thanks so much for this post.
Even when you are having trouble finding the words, you write a beautiful post! The photos are beautiful, too. It looks like you took the first one from the driver’s seat – something I have been known to do.
I have followed your blog since I started blogging a couple of years ago (Crime and Literature was the blog I used). You are still one of my favorite writers, and that is why I am giving you this award. Please feel free to accept it, as I believe you are deserving. I also understand if you do not want to participate! That’s okay, too. 🙂
Photographs stimulate creativity. When I struggle to say what’s in my heart I can usually find a photo that matches the mood and the words emerge.
Just your writing of this post is proof that you can write through any blockage that threatens you. Your perceptions are always inspiring to motivate anyone who reads you.
Beautiful pictures to match your beautiful words.
Wonderful post, Rudri. It resonates with me in more ways that I can say. I love the photographs, your daughter is so sweet and precious. xo