Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Our fantasy lives.
We live our days on two tracks, the work and clean track, and the dream and wish track. It's not as though they are opposite. They are intertwined, and the amount of focus we are consciously aware of in any one field depends on the moment.
I do most of my wishing and dreaming when I'm gardening or when I'm doing routine tasks, such as driving, cleaning house, doing laundry. In the garden, for instance, I may start with weeding a small area and then, needing another tool, I stand up and go fetch that tool. Before I get there, something catches my eye, and I'm off to something else entirely. I'm still gardening, but I'm blending in with the entire universe as well.
The effect of this meandering on my soul is most salutary. All the bending, the pulling, the carrying and positioning, the raking, the digging, the pruning, the harvesting, all succeed in numbing my thoughts, stilling my fears, positioning me in the place and the moment of the task, body and soul.
And yet, I travel millions of miles with each little twitch. Every time I use the hoe I see my father bent over this implement for hours, tending the vineyard. Every time I gather fruit and vegetable Mother is right beside me, reminding me of something or other. Wait another day for this one is still a bit small. Take these in and make a big tart, the way we used to make it when Grandma visited. You are lucky with a big refrigerator and lots of freezing space, you could bake a few extras and taste these delights in the middle of winter.
As I work, I take great delight in how something is bending, blooming, fighting to remain in its position. When I realize how tired I've become, I stop reluctantly.
We worry about children not staying on task. We demand their attention for hours and hours, and put all our emphasis on routine tasks, rather than creative pursuits. We test them on specific items, as though life is a big recipe we must memorize, rather than a big labyrinth to discover.
I wonder if we allow them enough time to meander and imagine, mix and match tasks, reminisce, create scenes and dialogue about their wishes, their fears, their consternation.
We must rethink the benefits of staying on task. Perhaps the explosion of ADD (attention deficit disorder) among our population is nature's way to correct all that tasking we have been submitted to.