I’ve been sitting here, in front of this blank page, for over half an hour. So many thoughts about what I could write have floated in and out of my head, that if strung together, and actually written down, would probably fill a book. Not that the book would make any sense, unless it was a volume of random short essays about diverse topics that might, or might not, connect one with another. I seem to be sitting still in the midst of a flow that just keeps moving around me, like a boulder in a riverbed.
Although that boulder seems unchanging, it isn’t. Stone gets worn away by the friction of constantly flowing water. Which only reminds me of the lyrics of a song: Solid stone is just sand and water, baby, sand and water and a million years gone by (Beth Nielsen Chapman). I don’t have a million years. I have today, this moment, and maybe the next. No more. Don’t want to waste it.
I didn’t come here and write yesterday. Had appointments in the outside world. Things to do, people to be with. That might be why I can’t seem to pick a place and just get started today. Have somehow turned into stone overnight. That was a really short million years.
Think I am still sorting out all that happened yesterday. The people I talked with, some strangers, others family and friends. The things I saw and touched, each left an impression like water flowing around a stone. Each taking a moment of my time, some more moments than others. I wrote about a lot of that in my journal this morning. But, apparently I’m not finished yet. Maybe because the water doesn’t stop flowing, it just keeps moving. And because it does, both the water and the stone are changed.
I wonder, did my presence in all of those moments yesterday, change or alter anything or anyone? The Red-Cross driver, a volunteer who picked me up to deliver me to my appointment. We spoke about his coming drive to Florida where he and his wife have rented a Condo for the coming month. My brother and his wife have done the same for many years, so the driver and I had a point of contact.
My counselor, whom I haven’t seen since before Christmas. The intensity of our discussion which ranged from Creativity, to Meditation, Dissociative Trance States, and mending the holes in my soul, and relationships. That altered me, made me think in new ways, and I know she will do the same.
My sister and Mother and all the staff and customers at the Goodwill store where we went shopping. The practical things I bought, and the one exquisite gift I chose to give myself, all for under twenty dollars. Those will change the way I deal with future moments. And I will alter them by that use.
The calm quiet exchanges between myself and my Mother and sister. The trading of opinions, giving of directions, and the slow smiles of shared feelings and thoughts. Changes from the hectic exchanges during the holidays, and a bit of mending in what could have been strained moments, will definitely alter all of us, perhaps minutely, but those alterations were felt and accepted with ease and gladness.
Yes, the stone has moved and been moved. Is still settling back into place. Has more experiences scheduled for today and tomorrow and the next. And in all those moments there were, and will be, changes and exchanges. Minute bits of stone becoming sand once again, altering its purpose and function, and its environment. Being equally altered in the process.
Were any of those exchanges more important than the others? Depends on where I am looking at them from. In this moment, the exchanges with family members hold more weight, but who is to say that the Red-Cross driver won’t meet my brother in Florida and find they enjoy playing golf together and eventually thank me for whatever occurs while they do so? And will I even remember that initial exchange months from now?
When I arrived back home, there was a package leaning against my door. A small book of coloring designs for me to dive into. Something I ordered on a whim last week. And spent most of the evening pouring through and working with last night. A new avenue to explore and enjoy. Some of the best exchanges are those I have with myself. Someone else might define it as just more sand, lost in the flow of time and water, but I would certainly beg to differ.
Each day that passes is filled with moments. Moments that mean exchanges with everything and everyone I brush up against. They alter me, as I alter them. I am not a stone, not a boulder in the middle of life’s stream, even though I may feel that way on any given day. I am flesh and blood, living and breathing through each of those moments. I am both water and stone, time and sand, and so much more, all at the same time. Which of these are you in the present moment?