“Live today fully and you create a lifetime of meaningful memories.” (Sophia Bedford-Pierce THE KEY TO LIFE)
The quote floats at the top of my morning page journal–a message from the universe to combat the sadness which wells inside of me the moment I drag myself out of sleep.
It’s a message I yearn to understand and to fully embrace, but something deep inside myself questions whether or not I’m even capable of truly enjoying life. What is a full life? This inner voice asks. What is a meaningful life? This inner voice demands.
I have no answers.
I yearn to lose myself into the oblivion of writing about someone else’s life, but the characters are silent. I yearn to find my connection to that creative energy where the characters live . . . where inspiration lives . . . but it seems out of reach.
I yearn to lose myself into the oblivion of exercise without thought, where the mind can then open to other possibilities. For me that place has always been a swimming pool, but I don’t know where to go. So I try to tap dance, but my feet don’t move correctly and I am reminded that I’m clumsy and awkward.
I take myself to my place of retreat. The botanical gardens that appear here so often. My intent is to walk and walk and walk until I’ve reached that rhythm of not thought where possibility has room to grow. Not possible today, as everywhere there are people cutting branches and trimming trees. A walk through the gardens becomes an adventure in an obstacle course, with the danger of falling limbs and the sound of saws disturbing the silence.
I did, however, finally figure out one thing that was wrong with my camera, and managed to get some beautiful shots. Flowers and beauty, but no answers, no peace.
I treat myself to lunch there, and try to find my way through words. I end up grading papers and that is all. I head back out and notice all of the older men wandering through the gardens, taking pictures, enjoying the beauty. They remind me of all the things my Dad didn’t get to do in retirement, before Alzheimer’s overtook him. They remind me that he is no longer here with me, and can’t walk through the gardens with me. He never did.
Hiking the Robert Frost years ago (when Sarah was around 2)
I return home. The radio filled with stories that I no longer want to listen to, about the bombers and wars and death and hatred and congress and I can’t take anymore. Just yesterday I learned that the boy who died in the bombing was closely connected to a high school friend. It’s all too close, too much.
I find no peace.
I return to find messages of kindness from friends. One tells me to “Go out in the sun, and force yourself to write two pages about happiness.” The clouds have rolled in. The sun is gone. I search for the words about happiness . . .
but all I find are these.
What do you do when you can’t find peace, or words, or that magic place of calm? What do you do when sadness rules?