Lately I've been feeling super trapped. For lots of reasons, but mainly geographical. And I'm not talking big geographical, although that's part of it too. Its so close, claustrophic. I haven't been spending nearly enough time outside. I feel trapped in my own apartment. That's because the things I need to get done need generally to be done at my computer, with access to my books and notes. Yes I could take my computer outside, but I need reliable internet. And there's those 50 lbs of books to consider. I've also been feeling trapped by normal day to day life activities such as laundry, dishes, cleaning, and generally keeping the clutter level down enough that I don't start feeling like a hoarder. Regretfully, all of those things need to be done inside. Although I do enjoy cleanliness, my house is not really my first priority (and really, who's is?). One of the books I read many times years ago talked about how there are basically two types of women in the world. The Naturers and the Nurturers. One is not necessarily better than the other, and we each have a bit of each type. The Nurturer, as you can guess, is the motherly type. The type that keeps a clean house, cooks dinner, loves her children to death, nurtures all of their needs and desires, and often neglects her own wants for the sake of others. The Naturer is the one who would rather sit outside than wash dishes, loves and teaches her children through nature (and nature means not just the outdoors, but letting things flow naturally), follows her own art and creativity needs rather than family sometimes. These apply to men as well. I know I just made it sound like the Naturer is better, but that's just because that's more who I am. And if I am deprived of art and nature, I really start to go crazy. I feel all jittery inside, and I become less of a nice person to be around and live with. I have more headaches, and less peace. And that is what has been happening to me lately.
I just read an article posted by a friend that hit the nail on the head. We are forced inside by our own inventions. People are spending less and less time outside, especially and most importantly, kids are sitting indoors playing video games, computer games, watching instantly streamed movies on their television. We are driven apart by technology, not closer together. We have created so much work for ourselves that we rarely take time to sit back and relax and watch the stars. When I was young, I lived in a wonderful enclosed neighborhood that was safe and had lots of kids close to mine and my sister's ages. We played together all summer long. Dodgeball, basketball, cops and robbers, flashlight tag, catching - and releasing - fireflies, riding bikes, swinging, climbing trees, building teepees, and playing in the creek were just a few of the games we played. All outside. When it rained, we were sad because that meant no outdoor games that day.
An ordinary day in summer would start with the birds singing at sunrise. I would awaken to soft yellow sunlight streaming through my open window, the breeze ruffling the sheer curtains so quietly. I would smell fresh cut grass, and go outside to find my mom weeding or planting flowers outside. I'd ride my bike in the neighborhood for a bit, stop and say hi to the neighbors. I'd collapse on the grass and just lay there enjoying the sun. Eat lunch and its right back outside, to play basketball in the cul-de-sac, walk the neighbor's dog, maybe take a trip up to the "secret hideout." We all ate dinner at roughly the same time. After dinner as the sun went down we would play tag, using the houses, trees, yards and whatever else was around to sneak back to base. Once the moon was up we would view her through the boys' telescope. Back to bed, fall asleep listening to the crickets sing.
I really miss those days.
For one thing, where did all that energy go? Once on a plane, I sat next to a woman and we got talking. I told her I was in vet school, and explained all that it entailed at her request. She said, "Wow you are a really high energy person." Oh, that's right. There is a reason why I have no energy to be a normal human being. Now, after graduation, I was hoping to get back to myself. But there is still more to be done.
When I lived in Portland, I painted almost daily. I've barely painted anything in LA. I think part of it is our current apartment which faces North. The lack of sunlight puts me in a quiet repressed rage often. I shrivel like a daylily without sun. Either way, its driving me crazy that a) I don't feel inspired and b) that when I do feel inspired I can't do anything about it anyway because I don't have that much time to spare. And when I do finally pick up a paintbrush, there is Sophie trying to bite the end of it.
In Ohio, I had the wonderful blessing of the barn. I could go spend as much time in the company of the horses as I wanted, and often I went alone, just to stand there and watch them graze. Standing there, taking in the scent of horse and grass and fresh air, mended the rents in my soul.
Now that is gone too.
I am Thankful for my wonderful husband, the health of my family and friends, my three lovey entertaining little kitties, the food on my table, and countless other blessings. I'm thankful that I had such wonderful things in my life, even if they are in the past. That said, I'm hoping and praying for big changes in the New Year. New hope. Sun. Grass. Trees. Only the things you need to live. I want to continue making my life one of peace, creativity, love and service. Sigh.