Posts Tagged ‘Play’

I spent a bit of each day this weekend sorting and sifting through more boxes. I have to admit, no matter how much enthusiasm I can gather for the image of spending the entire weekend efficiently and magically clearing away all forms of clutter and leaving my home Martha Stewart clean, when it comes to the actual doing of it all, I fall short. I fall into the pool and onto the sun lounger. I trip down the hiking trail toward the river. I fall into my friend’s car and out to a few of the many boutique wineries in Santa Cruz for some tasting. I fall into reverie. I fall onto the ground and stare up at the stars. I fall into bed with renewed enthusiasm for what tomorrow might bring.

Pool time! (Kathy Loh)

Pool time! (Kathy Loh)

Still, I did manage to make another dent in the entire project. Wrestling with it all just doesn’t serve. I’ve surrendered to the one-box-at-a-time process. I relish every trip out to the recycle bin. The sound of the shredder makes me giddy. With each slam of the recycle bin lid or whir of the shredder, I become lighter, my life and the weight of the journey becomes lighter.

It’s all about energy. Somewhere during those years of transformation, I lost the will to expend more energy than I receive. That’s not a way of being that I’ll be looking for in “lost and found” any time soon. Time spent writing, connecting with friends, connecting with Nature, connecting with Spirit and with myself is more important to me than time spent herding paper. So, I will be keeping less of it in the field of my life. Yet, it takes time to trim the herd, especially one that’s been growing for so many years.  I am reminded to be patient.

I was talking with my neighbor, Chuck, yesterday while carrying a box out to the recycle bin. He is an interesting character. He lives in one room and has a minimum amount of possessions. He was talking about his tools. He loves to woodwork and he has an amazing mind for invention. I marvel at his spatial intelligence. He spoke about things needing to have good homes.  He feels if he is not using his tools enough, he is not honoring their energy. If we are keeping things and not using them, not enjoying their beauty, then, in a way, they want us to find them new homes. Things lose their energy if neglected.

I thought of a lovely illustrated poem by Michael Hogan “Progress” which I have displayed in a glass clip-frame. I noticed it was dusty and I could feel its energy was depleted. Like crystals, things need to be cleansed and re-energized. Although I bought this poem-picture 30 years ago, it has stood the test of time. Like any good poetry, one can relate to it from just about any level of awareness. The simple process of dusting it had me re-read it. Its message was renewed in me.

I wonder sometimes if we don’t buy more things only because we’ve neglected to renew the energy in old things. We might be trying to revitalize ourselves through the energy of “new.” So many of our old things actually do still resonate for us, when we renew our connection with them. The ones that no longer feed us deserve new homes, where they are appreciated. It gives new meaning to house cleaning and dusting.  In doing so, we are creating beauty in the space, renewing the energy of the objects in that space and, thereby, reinvigorating ourselves.

As I ponder this, I realize that I can have this all or-nothing-approach. Keep it all, file it all, maintain it all or toss it all away. Both perspectives are about quantity. Either-or quantity quickly leads to scarcity or abundance. Now, I’m considering resonance. What is the resonance factor of each piece, each item, in terms of the whole of who I am now and who I am becoming? Memories are lovely. Some items filled with memory serve my current resonance. Others do not. Those need to be released to find new homes.

By releasing them, I create space for alignment of my energy with my environment as well as a lightness of being. I also create more time to spend floating in the pool….which is precisely where I’m headed now. The next box can wait.

 Copyright(c) July 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Every day, well, nearly every day, I walk down to my mailbox to retrieve the mail and the daily newspaper. I live in a semi-rural area, so the boxes are lined up roadside rather than connected to our homes. To get there, I have to walk down and back up a fairly steep hill that would qualify as a good ski run in snow country.

I could drive down and back, but the only time my conscience let me do that was when I sprained my ankle or when the rain was absolutely torrential.  After a morning hike in the woods and a mid-day swim in the pool, an evening walk to the mailbox is hardly about exercise for me. Besides, it’s as treacherous to walk quickly downhill on pavement (think, knees) as it is to walk uphill (think, calves and lungs). I want to honor the rhythm and mechanics of my body.

So, I take my time and I head out in the cool and quiet of the early evening when the quail and bunnies come out to eat. It’s a time when the sun is low enough to cast long shadows on the roadway and cliffs and fog is creeping in over the hills to the west. It’s a beautiful time of day and a beautiful walk, if I take the time to notice.

(photo: Kathy Loh)

(photo: Kathy Loh)

The unexpected gift of walking this hill is that I’ve remembered how to dawdle.

Do you remember walking to school as a child? I guess it depends on your age and where you lived, but I remember walking to school. I remember avoiding cracks in the sidewalk so as not to break my mother’s back, except when I was mad at her for something.

I remember not being aware of the time, just following the usual route and somehow landing at the playground before the bell rang. Well, ok, there were days when I heard the bell ring in the distance and made a beeline for the classroom. Along the way, I got lost in the sights, sounds and smells of the early morning; bacon, birds chirping on the wires, parents driving off to work, black shiny beetles crossing the sidewalk. I danced, twirled and sang. I called “hello” to the cats sitting on porches.

Merriam-Webster defines dawdling as wasting time. I define dawdling (or, if you prefer, dilly-dallying) as an art, one I’ve forgotten and am consciously re-membering.

So, I’m dedicating the entries in Full Moon Path to the art of dawdling for the rest of this week and perhaps into the next. Who knows when or how many entries, because I am, after-all, dawdling. I suspect that dawdling is one of the portals to the Mystery.

Meanwhile, whether your mailbox is attached to the front of your house, at the end of the driveway or down the road, take the opportunity to dawdle the very next time you retrieve your mail. Take time to engage with a flower, a bird flitting about in the bushes, that smell of wood fire down the way, the sound of children playing. Watch the dragon you think you see in a cloud morph into a dog. Dance with your shadow.

Float your imagination, observation and memory until they intersect in sublime timelessness and surrender your busy-ness to a little dilly-dallying.

Let’s see what we can discover together about the fine art of dawdling. Are you game?

copyright(c) June 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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