Sunday, January 6, 2013

Knock Knock! Who's There?

        Hmmmm.... I've been thinking. And thinking is something I am good at doing.  In fact, I am pretty damn good at thinking and I find myself constantly wanting to "figure this out".  I get discouraged when I reach to find the answer to some nebulous issue and I see and hear thoughts rolling over and over through my head.  It gets loud and congested and maddening in there when that happens.  Until recently, I have just assumed that this is the way it is.  It mirrored so much else about my life.  The "busy-ness" of my life has been the perfect match for the head traffic and I have accepted that as the way life is for someone who is reasonably intelligent and who is culturally successful.

      But I am starting to wonder about all this now.  I am noticing in myself the desire to stop this craziness.  I am noticing that the slower and the quieter I go, the more gladness and delight I find in the world.  I am accustomed to working hard and giving 1,000% in everything I do.  And, certainly, that has paid off nicely in terms of the standard definition of success.  I have a good job, a comfortable home in a  desirable location, two college educated and compassionate children.  But it hasn't left much time at all for just being, for simply absorbing the world.  

     There were tasks to be done in younger years. Perhaps now the task for me is to start listening more to the soft voices in my head. Oh, and trust me, they are there. They have always been afraid to speak above a whisper because the voice of Busy is so damn loud and, frankly, scary.  I am guessing that the only way I can make the world safe for the soft voices to speak to me is to send Busy away.  That's hard to do because Busy is also bossy and has been in charge since I was pretty much about 12 years old.  I'm not sure how I am going to accomplish the dismissal of Busy but stay tuned.  I'm sure that I will want to write about it.


       This post came to me as an immediate reaction to listening to the YouTube video of the recent Kennedy Center Honors 2012 tribute for Led Zeppelin.  What is it about this song that is so powerful?  And this rendition is made all the more intense by the reactions of the three surviving original band members to their music being performed on stage.  The tears that came to my eyes must be about the passage of time but also about  the haunting beauty of this song.  It's moments like this that make me KNOW I need to send Busy packing.  I need to make time to listen to music that touches me, to walk in the early dawn and be seized by the world waking up.  I need time to read and to absorb what I am reading.  I need time to play with words and with the colors and textures of paint.  I need time to feel my life rather than just run my life.  I need time to taste and time to be, maybe even time to find out who is there in my head besides Busy.

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll

And she's buying a stairway to heaven


  1. Beautiful post, JT. I so agree, there are different tasks for different stages of life. The curiosity and confusion of youth gives way to the resolve and focus of middle age which transforms to the reflection and insight of maturity. You've come up with the perfect approach for keeping Busy at bay: early morning walks, inspired reading, play with words and colors, beautiful music, relaxation, silence, dreams, being. "Busy" is just one manifestation of Energy. It can just as easily be experienced as Enthusiasm, Excitement, Playfulness, Passion, Dance, or Awareness. Or any number of experiences and emotions to remind us that we're alive...and waking up. Please give yourself the opportunity to hear and honor those creative voices within--you are an inspiration!

    1. Thanks, Tom. I am nothing if not a student of life and that has been a constant in all my days. The subject material to be mastered keeps changing but this feels like the most difficult lesson yet. Yet, I know there are even more difficult ones on the horizon. Thanks for the conversations.

  2. Wow, I couldn't have said it better than Tom did. I too, am pleased to hear you say you're determined to take more time, to let the moments pass, unshaped by the busy mind, allowed to take place without an agenda. Interesting things happen when we give ourselves permission to experience the now. I'm with you--let's put Ms. Busy out to pasture! matt

    1. Matt, you have been privy to this struggle on my part for some time now. Thanks for always being encouraging and honest with me. You have been a model for putting Ms Busy out to pasture (nice pasture that you have up there) and I am looking for teachers. You signed on to be one whether you knew it or not. :)

  3. You know my thoughts on being Busy and you also know the origins of those thoughts. That being said, you must see for yourself that it's time to take a breather. I think more time in the kitchen will help, but what do I know? Whatever it takes to slow the whole process down...

    1. Ah yes, more time in the kitchen! You are your father's son, aren't you? :)
      I could do that and I could also be my father's daughter and watch the ocean and read and write poetry sometimes..... XOXOXXOXO

  4. I love what Tom said. Ditto!! Ditto!!!

  5. Ah, the Busy mind--it would be nice if mine were productive, but alas, it is mostly busy chasing its own tail. I am watching you for inspiration. :)