Saturday, May 09, 2009

What's it all about, Alfie?

Where is the me I used to be? Of course, I used to be things like a wife or a girl friend and an "active" mom (ie: my son was little and needed momming). I used to be a student, then an adventurer, then a student again, and so forth. And I understand how those uses in the world arise and then pass on.

But also, I used to be so busy. I always had projects in the works. I took workshops and classes and taught workshops and classes. I made handcrafts. I learned new healthy things like yoga and meditation and vegetarian cooking. I taught myself how to be social in the world. I joined groups (I hated groups at one time) and taught myself how to be a person in a group. I civilized and socialized myself. I wrote gobs in journals: dream journals, daily journals, journals chronicling my writing projects, journals about self-growth with both words and drawings. I had journals that listed all the books I read each year. At the end of the year I totaled these up.

As my homeopath once said to me, (she has known me quite a number of years) she didnt think she knew anyone who reinvented herself so much. Whether that is true or not, she at least thought it true.

And this is what people need to do--reinvent themselves over and over. Flowing with the changes that life brings. We are not one thing for the whole of our lives. And that's okay.

But at the present moment, I feel I am doing nothing. I have no interests. I am crafting nothing. I am learning nothing new. My job here at Mom's is finished. I have cleared out most of her things. I have packed most of my things. I am on a plateau. And it's pretty tiring and pretty boring. I don't have the energy to reinvent myself again.

The bookstore loves me though as I am reading 4-5 books a week. Some from the library but lots I buy from the bookstore. Then once read I give them away as I have no bookcase of my own. I am indolent. I am passive. I sit and read and read. And much as I love reading, it is a solitary pursuit. I go days without talking to anyone except occasionally the bookstore owners.

As Babs said awhile back--"What's it all about, Alfie?" I often hum that phrase too. Maybe I should watch the movie again. I think the song was the best thing about it.

I know we all go through these transition places at numerous times in our lives. It feels like a mid-life crisis but I'm way past mid-life. I am a paper boat adrift on the salt salt sea.

Well, those are some of the thoughts pluckering through my little brain the past few days. They are just thoughts though. Passing by like clouds over the sun. Here and then gone. Observe and then let go. Namaste, Suki

26 comments:

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Oh, I so know how you feel, and all I can say (and hope) for both of us, is that it will pass...this stagnation--and something good is ahead. I mean, we know we can't go on like this forever, it's just not healthy and we have so much to give...

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I think you opened some very big questions. I'm finding myself at a point of no longer seeking and no longer interested it what now seem to be a distractions. All the old interests don't appeal to me and I find my days simple...nature, really good food,art making, gratitude...more quiet pleasure. Not so interested in big groups, in fact an art opening with crowds is boring for me. My re-invention seems to be a life...a life down to the marrow of my loves.
Everyday invites re-invention...maybe how you are living is just perfect!!

Annie said...

Suki, you have been through a lot of changes lately, with the deaths of your mom and ex-husband. I think it is normal to be in a stage where you just want to rest and read. Go with the flow, one day you will get excited by something and be on your way again. This is just a rest stop :-). Many hugs.

Starlene said...

I was thinking of this very thing yesterday...passing thoughts. I was thinking of life in the context of Traditional Chinese Philosophy (the seasons, the microcosms, the macrocosms). I was thinking that in every season or stage of life, there should still be elements of the other seasons within it, in order for balance to maintain itself. For example - day is yang and night is yin. And yet in day, there are both yin and yang...the first half of the day is yang, the second half yin. This can be applied right on down to a second, even.

The good news, and finally my point, is that you will soon be on your way to more yang (i.e. more activity), because that's the natural rhythm of things. I'm sure you know that though...you're a smart lady. I'm familiar with the perpetual reinventment of oneself. I think sometimes, it just takes longer than usual to build up the momentum and potential. Especially after a lot of processing, which, from what I gather, you've done a lot of in the past year or so. Don't sweat it. And if you're bored and looking for some books that are unlike anything you've ever come across, look up the Ringing Cedars of Russia series.

sukipoet said...

thanks Teri. All things do pass, life has shown me that. It's just the wainting.

I like what you say Blue Sky. "Everyday invites re-invention." I think I live quite simply now too actually and have for awhile. I am glad you have created a life as you so beautifully say "down to the marrow of my loves." It's just that for me at the moment I can't think what my lvoes are. But maybe I need to just focus on the simple things I do do.

sukipoet said...

Annie, I do hope my life-interest revives and I know it IS my responsibility to revive it. Well, I am going to a soul card workshop tomorrow and then an encaustic workshop next weekend so I guess those things will pep me up.

sukipoet said...

Starlene, thank you for your thoughtful response. I like that image of the yin and yang. Actually I have some TCM style books on foods and you can actually eat yang foods to warm oneself up a bit. Maybe I should do that. :) I love your idea of the first half of the day yang, the second half yin and then thinking of each second in that way too. Wow. Every second that flow back and forth and interweaving of energies. Which makes me think i shouldnt label myself as a generic and static passive but rather maybe just a predominance of yin with needing a bit more yang. Thanks for the tip on the books, never heard of them so will look them up. Namaste, Suki

m. heart said...

Unfettered at last, a traveling monk,
I pass the old Zen barrier.
Mine is a traceless stream-and-cloud life,
Of these mountains, which shall be my home?
— Manan (1591-1654)

sukipoet said...

lovely poem M. Heart and I have never heard of this poet. "a traceless life" haunting. though his life left traces in the form of his writings.

katie jane said...

Suki, I am so there with you at this time. I feel like I am on a treadmill, get up, go to work, come home, fix dinner, watch TV, go to bed, do it all again tomorrow, and the next day, and the nest. For me it hasn't passed for a while. I feel like I've been stuck for years. I don't know what to do to change my life. I don't see how it can be any different. I'm tired at the end of the day and I don't feel inspired to do much else. If I wasn't working, I'd probably be sitting, reading books, too. I guess we're stuck together.

4roomsandthemoon said...

I understand this feeling of yours. I worked for years and lamented long about trying to carve out time for art; I was recently fired from my job and suddenly I have hours, days, weeks, of time - but it scares me a little and I feel adrift and ashamed somehow that I haven't jumped into the life I thought was my authentic life. But I feel as if suddenly I am stepping out into space with no handles, no net, no parachute; and I have no excuses. I find myself reading too much, staying up late to read somemore, buying more books to read, and seriously avoiding re-inventing myself as I thought I would be doing. I am an avid avoider of group things, so it isn't groups that I want. I just feel as if all the air has been let out of me and I've been folded up and put away for awhile - I have long talks with myself about what I should be doing, what I want to be doing, and yet I am still folded up and waiting, and time is passing...
Olivia

studio lolo said...

This was a thought provoking piece for me Suki. I love how you put it...a plateau seems to be the perfect word for the place many of us are. (I'm on a precipice at the moment.) I enjoyed reading the comments and advice. I really can't add any more pearls of wisdom~I just hope I remember some of them so I can reach deep when I need them.
I do believe the SoulCollage class will open up something in you.
Blessings~
Laurel

Mim said...

We work so hard to get to a plateau - and don't like it when we are there. Is it the moon? Are we all there at the same time???

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Losing a parent can unhinge you for awhile. It leaves a large void in our lives...I know...I felt very lost for a long while after my Mom died. I kept seeking something to fill it.. and I did finally end up filling that void. Maybe once you move out of that house you will get over this.

~Babs said...

I have nothing to offer other than on some scale I agree with Cris. Yet only you can know what will make the difference. We each have to hoe our own gardens.

For me personally,I feel as you do when I forget to look UP. That's when it's so easy to fall into the "what's it all about" mode.
I'm glad you are getting out some though, with other people,,,with like interests. That's important, as you know.
Thinking of you,,,,,and know that Sunday will be a first for you, and not easy.

sukipoet said...

Katie Jane, I know it's hard to be on such a treadmill with no or little breathing space. And no time to imagine another way things might work and be that would be more satisfactory. I feel blessed in one way that I can read as there was a 4 year period just a few years ago when no books held my attention and I didnt have that solace. Still, think i'm overdoing it.

Olivia, thanks for stopping by and for your wonderful comment. you describe so well that plateau space where nothing seems to be moving. when i hear you describe the reading, i think---well maybe deep inside you the seeds are getting sown and the flowers are unfolding, you just can't see them yet. And so with the reading, which often takes us into other lives and worlds, you are sending encouragement down to these invisible happenings which will one day burst forth into bloom.

Still, the waiting is hard, at least for me. As I imagine these little seedlings are inside me too and will bloom at some point but no sign of them yet.

sukipoet said...

Thanks Laurel. Precipice. But i am wondering if you know where you will land once you have jumped off? At least you know the east coast/Rhode Island area. Thinking of you as you go through all the changes and goodbyes and exhaustion of the transition time.

Mim, it is true it's nice to have some regularity to life. And maybe true too the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I keep saying I'll be good when I am settled and can unpack etc. all that is adrenaline producing excitement and then the plateau again i suppose.

sukipoet said...

Cris you are right on there. I realized yesterday as I walked out for the mail that I dreadfully miss Mom. Her being here gave purpose to my being here and now there is just me and i'm lonely. It does leave a hole I want to fill and I trust that sense of vacancy will pass. But it hasnt yet. I also agree that it would be good to get out of Mom and Dad's space they chose and set up as each step brings memories although maybe that is good too to work through the sadness.

sukipoet said...

Babs, you are right. The first mother's day without mom. although from the other end i am a mom and my son did send me an e-card.!

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Dear Suki,

Being alive means going through changes. (Eccl. 3) I have enjoyed most changes but at times found the changes to be wearing, boring, or painful. Death has a way of making us conform to twists and turns in our life's pathway that we did not prepare for, nor expect -- thus, for me anyway, life rests as it finds a new footing on the unwelcome path which soon grows familiar and then normal and hopefully enjoyable.

You are in my thoughts often, as I wish we could sit over tea and chat. I have reinvented myself on occasion and found it delightful (necessary, too), had periods of reading books by the bushel, and also sat in a fog and wondered which way I would be blown next.

Life grows, changes, transforms, and carries seasons. Rest and watch, my friend . . . something new is on the horizon. I shall read along in this quietness with you, and then soon I imagine I shall be laughing out loud and cheering as I see just where the road takes you.

Happy Day, sweet one! : D

marianne said...

I will come back to comment on this, so many things that pop up in my mind now....

Take care!

sukipoet said...

Debbie thank you for your thoughtful comment. I'd love to sit in your beautiful garden and chat with you too. Death certainly puts a person on an unexpected path, as does illness and natural disasters. I think of those folks in Santa Barbara whose homes burned to the ground. Every treasure they owned and loved gone. Which changes our life so much. I like that biblical quote. thanks. blessings, suki

Mary said...

losing a parent is a profound moment of change in our lives that lasts a long time. losing your sister in law and your ex husband in such a close time period as losing your mom is also very deeply affecting. having recently gone through a similar time in my life i think it is really ok to just be with yourself for however long that takes. the fact that you are feeling a bit bored and restless is probably a sign of some sort of movement to come.

maybe there is no longer need for reinvention. maybe now you can just be who and what and why and when you are ;-)

time and quiet are good....and watching the summer unfold will do your heart untold and uncountable good....

sukipoet said...

Mary thank you so much for your beautiful words and thoughts. I agree that this feeling of boredom and restlessness is what may motivate me to make the changes i need to make. at some point my body will tire of sitting and reading and get up and do. I also like the idea that maybe i have reinvented myself enough already, though you didnt say it that way and i can just flow with all i have learned and be who i am. Self acceptance and new learnings will come as i flow along instead of being imposed by my anxious self.

San said...

Suki, I wouldn't call reading 4-5 books a week indolence. But I hear you and your yearning to make new connections and find more outer involvement.

On Mother's Day evening we helped my son move a few things to his new rental house near the university. It'll be the first summer he hasn't lived at home. Another milestone that brings both relief and sadness.

Roxanne said...

Dear Suki - I wish I had wise words to share. I don't. Does it help that you inspire me in many ways? That must sound strange since you feel so uninspired, but I suppose the blogging world has been a blessing to hear from women in so many different phases of their life. I find it inspiring to think the "journey" never ends, that there is still lots of re-invention to be had, and that it isn't something because I'm the one who's lost or drifting - but just because that's what life really is intended to be.

At least I like to think so.

Hope you are well dear suki