Thursday, May 01, 2014

April Moon 14: Day 12-13 -- Flow and Curious


What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

Everything is going exactly as it should be going, one thing into another into another, all building on what has come before and what is going on, and effortlessly. That's flow. That's not how my life usually goes, however.

While I have definitely been there, in flow, more often it feels jerky, starts and stops and backups and restarts. I have to think about where to go next, how to proceed. And I spend a fair amount of time figuring out how I really feel about what is happening in whatever moment I'm in. And sometimes I just let go, and then things just happen. Huh.

I read a quote the other day, attributed to a Zen proverb, that said "Let go or be dragged." I can let go, but then I so often grab it back and try to control things again, and yes, I've been dragged along....often. That certainly impedes flow.

When I think of flow, I envision the perfect Sun Salutation: hands to the sky, then down to the floor, then into a downward dog, to plank, to cobra, back to downward dog, then hands up. I can do that, but it is slow and awkward right now, moving my out-of-shape muscles and achey joints in anything approaching a flow. So I try it anyway, as much as I can, and try to feel it inside me.

To obtain flow within -- which certainly contributes to flow outside me .... I have been working on capturing energy, cultivating meditation, that quiet, focused state which calms and clarifies. It helps in every way to make my days better, brighter, less 'sticky.' It is a practice, which means I must work at it consistently in order to get better at it. Some days are good.


What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

Oh, I wanna know stuff. I have always been curious and maybe a bit snoopy. Okay, maybe more than a bit. As a child, I listened a lot and learned things, or at least bits of things, about my parents, my brother, my friends, people at church, teachers, classmates. I watched them too, not in a creepy way, but because I was curious about why they acted as they did. When I babysat, I'd observe houses: how people chose to decorate, how much attention they paid to cleaning and being tidy, what was in their refrigerators or pantries, their bathroom. What did the kids do? What were the bedtime rituals? I was never inappropriate, mind you -- I was a reliable sitter who liked kids and cleaned up messes -- but I did observe.

My daughters will say I ask too many questions, too many of them too personal. They're probably right. I want to know the story, the whole story, not just the bits they want to feed me. Even if it is ugly and uncomfortable, I have always wanted to know the whole truth, and I am a reasonably good internet sleuth and can find out all kinds of tidbits that may not tell the whole story, but that provide some good clues.

Maybe it's because I'm a reader and a writer. The more I know, the better I can write a good story. The more I know, the more I understand about the situation, and the more it reveals about the characters.

It's not just personal stuff, though. I spent a lot of my youth browsing through public libraries, drifting through the stacks and pulling off books that interested me, sometimes sitting right there on the floor surrounded by a stack of books, reading. If a subject caught my attention, I wanted to know everything I could find about it. If an author appealed to me, I'd read my way through his/her published works. (Often still do...)

The iPad is my library now and it lives by my living room chair. Sure, I use it for email and Facebook, but in the course of watching a show or movie, I will often search for information on the featured actors ("What have we seen him in?!) or how many episodes there are left, or the setting, or the plot....I'm curious. I want to know, and I love the instant gratification the Internet gives me these days.

My doctors know that I consult Dr. Google about my medical questions too, probably more than they would like. Oh, I bring lists of questions to them, but they are formed from what I have been reading. (The danger there is getting TOO involved in it and stressing about symptoms or complications that are not mine....)

I hope I'm always curious. I've reined in the questions I ask my children these days and try to let the conversation flow as it will, knowing very well that they must follow their own paths through life, and that there are a lot of things I do not need to know about their choices. But I still ask, I still search, I still speculate .... and I still write. When you are curious, you cannot be bored. I am never bored.


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