September 2, 2017
Vera Cruz, New Mexico
It is now the stillness which has become an essential. I noticed this first when I could not bring myself to start the generator in the mornings. It us not so much a necessity as it is a convenience. While I run it in the evening for light and to charge my devices, it is nice to begin the day with a full charge also. It is not loud enough to really be a distraction as I have housed it in the shed, but instead it breaks the stillness. This is key as I have discovered that the stillness reaches deep inside of me when it is present and I savor that feeling. I am learning to be still, even if I am so often in motion.
If I have spent so much of my life searching after outcomes I am now content with the present. So much so, in fact, that I am having to very carefully set goals for myself so as not to recreate the necessity which so often drives my efforts. For once, in all of these so many years, I can do this. It is that, coupled with my forays into the wilderness, which made my life such a pleasure when I worked for NM Tech in 2010 and 2011, and which has been so absent since then. I created the bulk of necessity then as I took the time off to so enjoy my life. I am doing something of the same now, though now that I have maxed my cards I will draw the line there.
I would rather pay as I go anyway and even now I have achieved that. Rather than run to town on a whim or purchase things I want but really don’t need, I have instead prioritized everything. If it is only 12 miles to town I still only go when I need food, ice and gas. I have little desire to go otherwise anyway, there is too much to do, or not do, right here. Of course I am doing, even as I am learning to be still. I rearranged my studio yesterday and am ready to return to my creative pursuits. I am also going through every piece of my possessions and will sell or give away the bulk of it. I will, as I was the last time I did this, be as happy to profit from the effort as to part company with those things I no longer require. And I require so little!
Having lived very comfortably on a 200 square foot dwelling for the last six years there is so little that I need! The bulk of what I have surrounded myself with is art and treasures I have amassed in my travels which enrich my spirit more than anything else. Aside from that there are the few other essentials, table, chairs, etc., and my books and tools. The rest is just baggage. I am blessed also in my solitude here, there is no shared attachment to things which would otherwise have little useful value! I wish to add to the stillness a degree of simplicity which allows for the separation from those things I no longer require. The ensuing freedom will be equally welcome.
And so it is I surround myself with a new level of stillness which I will defend with all my heart. By not thirsting after outcomes I can instead allow the universe to guide my course, while still actively participating. I will now set my mind and my hands to the things which bring me the most pleasure and live within my means on the returns. My long term goal has been to develop the ability to do so and I have succeeded in that effort. As always my old adage of, “If not now, when?” comes to mind and I have arrived at that juncture before. I can easily say I am now prepared to follow through, and that I am looking forward to doing so. I will keep it simple and straightforward and I know I will succeed, as I already have. What I will do differently is to make my choices carefully and not repeat the mistakes of the past. If I find myself wandering off my path I will right myself immediately and not allow any false pretenses to mislead me. What you see is what you get and no amount of wishing otherwise will change that. This applies to all things.
This is the beauty of what I have. I am surrounded by the efforts and accomplishments of the last many years since I established my presence here. If it is a bit unsettling to have so much stuff it has all served its purpose at a given moment. That I may profit from parting with it also brings its own reward. While any monetary returns will be most welcome the opportunity to share those items with someone who will put them to use will be an equal pleasure. Each piece will carry a lesson also, of how, as we complete ourselves, we require less and less to do so. By arriving at the level of stillness I have now acquired I can see this so clearly. I no longer require distractions or possessions to feel I am complete as it instead emanates from within my own self.
It has taken me many years to attain this level of stillness, even if I have sought it out from the start. I can still recall my forays into the ‘woods’ as a very young child. I would wander off into the trees or into the field just beyond our yard and sit down on the ground by myself. I might even lie back in the grass or the leaves and watch the clouds drifting by on the breeze. I would surround myself with that stillness and feel as content as I ever did anywhere else. In so many ways I was retreating from the noise and distraction of the rest of human kind, my family and the world which surrounded us. I found a solace there which has never been equaled by anything or anyone else.
It returns to me in its entirety now, and I have learned how to sustain it. I require so little else to survive. Another life lesson, well taken.