In meditation circles, they call it 'returning to center.' In yoga, 'returning to breath.' In the last eight weeks, I've returned to active routine: to developing habits, to creating a framework, to operating within it, to returning (gently, kindly, encouragingly of self) when I've allowed myself to veer off-habit.
This morning, I've awakened early: shortly after 4AM, and in the cozy free-flow that is a wandering brain while one's body lies blanketed, I've found an answer to months of wondering when I would spontaneously find the right words for beginning (again). Apparently, 4:23 on a rainy Thursday morning in late October (2021, the year of our Lord*) is the answer to that question. This is, coincidentally (because you can't plan this stuff), one day after the free 14 day trial period on a new content platform expired... not too bad for a brain that is habitually a couple years out in front of reality (both in terms of personal capacity and in experiencing zeitgeist: the existential crisis everyone else experienced in 2020 had begun for me in 2018). It feels good to begin, again.
A wise woman once observed my life's pattern – a pendulum: from chaos to order to chaos...to order – and gently noted that this is what I should expect my natural rhythm would continue be. She's not wrong (and I'm not unique in this): entropy is universal and we're all falling apart unless we're actively putting ourselves back together).
Junket - the shop - knocked this pendulum off the clock entirely. How did that happen? I remember naively thinking: "I'll solve this for us. I'll take on the small stuff. I'll sort it out in my head. I can be helpful in this way."
The last several years have involved reckoning with impacts big and small of doggedly taking on a world's problem. I chose this. Even the parts I did not choose played out as they did against a backdrop of this choice.
It is not On Brand (personally or professionally) for me to just chuck the works and start over, and so I've grappled with the disorder of a decade's accumulation of other people's stuff (I stopped buying my own a long time ago). Call it a dialectical experiment. It doesn't feel good to sit with brokenness - but then, to throw it away and produce a new façade doesn't feel good, either. There's beauty in the breakdown. There's sanity in creating order. We've a broken system to repair/rebuild, even as we continue to operate - necessarily - within it. I've given this my attention & intention to the point of exhaustion and beyond.
But there are upsides: like when you wake up at 4:23 and realize that everything you've done with garbage for the last dozen years has a corollary in how we work our way out of a crisis. And, this is a good thing, because we've got more than one crisis to confront, and I sense that there are lessons to be gleaned from choosing not to throw away the stuff that isn't pretty. If we throw it all away and start over, where's the creative fodder, the energy, the matter?
I don't know when I'll write next. I'd like to think it'll be tomorrow – that as I return to a structured laundry (and dishes, and yoga) list of daily intentions/tasks/actions that has veered off course for the first time since I built it several weeks ago, I'll add this in and we'll be off to the races once more – but I know better than to promise this.
What I can promise is that if I do not show up tomorrow, you can expect that I will begin, again, another time soon.