It has been that kind of week. It started off just fine. I had some time to read and reflect and create as I read along with others in Liz Lamereux’s Inner Excavation read-along for this summer. It’s based on her book of the same title. Each week, we will explore a new idea and a new chapter. This week, it’s all about beginnings and taking some first steps. I am trying to “reframe” my attitude, especially during these last two weeks before I return to the classroom for one of the marathon teaching schedules in which I begin the day at 9:00 a.m., teach two classes, have a three-hour break, and then teach two more classes beginning at 5:30 and leaving campus at 10:30 p.m. Yes, it’s going to be some very long days.
Even Tuesday was a good day. I went out for a photo walk along the pond. I noticed some wild flowers I had not seen before, or perhaps I have seen them; I just haven’t paid attention to them before. That’s the beauty of contemplative photography as a practice (it’s not technical, so don’t expect a “how-to-do-contemplative-photography” post any time soon!). With contemplative photography, the photographer learns how to see differently and to accept what he or she sees as a “gift,” if you will. It’s a way of acknowledging that there is beauty in the world, in the ordinary, and what some people may see as the mundane.
Wednesday was a different animal altogether. First, I knew I had some errands that I needed to complete, but I woke with some severe pain which colored my outlook. I did not want to get out of bed because lying flat on my back was the only position that was in any way comfortable, and that wasn’t the most comfortable! I don’t know that I’ve had this bad a sciatic attack before. Then there were the other phone calls that put some additional demands on my time. But begin “Mom,” I answered the call, and helped out. At least by the end of the day, I had some relief from the pain. Moreover, I had some encouraging words from some online friends in the Inner Excavation group. What I needed to hear most clearly is, “you are not alone.” Sometimes, this journey of mine seems to be a solitary one.
Today, I have been catching up on my writing, my dreaming, my responding. In a few minutes, I’ll pull out the piano bench and practice and play some music to set my soul singing. I will read some inspiring words, and I will sit awhile with my Inner Excavation journal. Perhaps I will pick up the camera and walk around the ponds to see what has changed since Tuesday.
Sometimes, life is just hard. Sometimes, I have to create space. And I am thankful that I can do these things.