It feels like it has been months since my pen has hit the proverbial paper. It feels that way, because it’s true. Quite a bit has transpired since I last wrote, and while I know that writing is a form of processing for me, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I’m not a fan of conflict, especially with myself. You know those battles between your heart and your mind, logic versus emotion, perspective against reality. Surely I can’t be alone in that.
Last night while running a few errands, I caught a glimpse of rays of sun shooting up in the sky. You know the kind, the ones that can only be made because a cloud is positioned just right, with the perfect bumps and texture to cast their beams in every direction. On a whim I abandoned my last task and set off to find an unobscured view of what I knew had to be a spectacular sunset.
Traffic seemed to part and a parking space was right where I needed it, as I pulled into the park. I hopped out and headed straight for the bridge, knowing that it would provide the best vantage point. It was as though time had slowed down just enough for me to get the perfect view of the sun sinking behind the mountains, the clouds doing their perfect dance and the orange, blues and pinks reflecting off the lake’s surface.
Once I knew I had the view, I closed my eyes (which I know seems counterproductive) and took a couple deep breaths. When I opened my eyes again, I was able to just be, to just enjoy the moment. For the first time in days, nay weeks, my mind slowed enough to take in the small things around me. The swarm of gnats off to the left, the critter rustling around in the tall grass under the bridge, the distant laughter from the playground at the park, the “kerplop” of the fisherman’s line as he cast it out and the small splash the bobber made… all came into focus.
As the colors faded from the sky and that twilight blue set in, I thought about going back to my car and heading home. Instead, I set out on the path just to the other side of the bridge. It’s a beautiful lake from any direction, and the paved path made navigating in the waning light seem easier. The first lap around the lake, I was still abuzz, conflict and confrontation, war within myself. As I made my way up the bridge again, I paused and looked at the water. Fish were coming to the surface now, doing their best to nab their dinner and I remembered my Grandpa saying that dawn and dusk were the best times for catching fish, as he woke me at o’dark thirty to head out. Per usual, I was drawn to the ripples made in the water, those perfect concentric circles radiating out until they come in contact with something else- conflict.
I smiled to myself and set out for one more lap around the lake. I smiled again when I realized that instead of my mind going on circles, I was physically going around instead. Out of the mind and into the body, such a great adage for when you’re stuck, why’d it take me so long to remember?
I was thinking about ripples as I made my second lap. While my first thought upon the ripples coming in contact with something else was conflict, the truth was, it was just a blockage in flow- the water kept moving around it or through it. A blockage in flow, what an interesting phrase; I’ve been blocking my own flow, and it’s gotten me going in circles.
If I look at conflict and confrontation as a removal of a blockage or even just a clearly defined path around an obstacle, somehow, suddenly it shifts from something filled with anxiety to a problem to solve. That seems like a much better space to come from, both in dealing with myself and others.