For me, centering and grounding carry a connotation of calm and safety. Rootedness. Of course these are concepts that have gained meaning for me over the years, not the preoccupations of my youth. Perhaps the idea of focus shifts as we age, away from a multitasking, forward motion, activity aimed at some future goal. In my seventh decade, I am more aware of inwardness, the gathering of my life’s experiences thus far. Cherishing those events and now cognizant of choice.
Yes, the reality is that many things simply happen ‘to us’. It is the sensation of being buffeted or buried by those events, which was the primary experience of my youth, which I am beginning to see is not inevitable. Instead I can try taking a stand, (oops, ‘stand your ground’) and choose not to tip into the whirling, sucking downward spiral. Opting instead for a different focus.
I am reminded of lines from a poem I wrote back in 1975. It is quite self-indulgent of me to quote my own adolescent work. But writing a blog is or can be self-indulgent, is it not? And I am always tickled to find some old writing that appears to be a scrap of wisdom delivered before I really knew what I was saying. Here are a few lines, copied from the old mimeographed page, edges browned, unearthed from my bottom desk drawer:
I was there steady at my oar, all the time
And that’s what shook me up…
…before when my heart splintered
or the turbulence of others
beat me down,
I would break and drown…
…this time I was
quiet and still beneath the crashing waves
grateful that I did not have to pick up the pieces and
start again, because there was no break,
my stroke was steady.
Now this is all sounding rather trite to me, and perhaps to any reader who may encounter this post. I’m not trying to be profound or deep, just trying to make sense of my days. (Medical tests were fine, btw; quick and easy.) My father-in-law died last weekend and his funeral is on Saturday. My spouse’s siblings will gather here, with their families, arriving tomorrow. Arrangements are entirely in the hands of their father’s wife and the situation is messy, complex and emotionally fraught. My focus is handling the logistics of feeding people and providing comfortable places for them to sleep. And I will also be trying to follow through on NaBloPoMo and post something here every day. There is so much more to say about focus, choice and time. Anon.