Saturday, March 05, 2011

The Nurturing of Doing Nothing

Wu wei: Do Nothing. ~ Lao Tzu

That is what I've been doing lately. One could debate that it is what I've been doing for a very long time-possibly a lifetime. The difficulty is in accepting that this is not only ok, but good.

So here is what I HAVE been doing:
On a lovely library excursion where I was forced to cut it from hours to minutes, I grabbed People of the Longhouse off the "New Fiction" shelf. It was an exciting find. Seems that anthropologists Kathleen and Michael Gear have been writing tons of novels based on the anthropological findings of prehistoric America. This one was mesmerizing, and off I went to find the next one in the series. Of course, it hasn't been released yet, so I went on to another in another series.

I chose People of the Lakes because I'm from one of the areas noted--the midwest and the Great Lakes. These are not short, beach reading books. These are solid, historical fiction of war, romance, travel, and, did I mention, history.

So, while I took notes, and had the best intentions and immense emotions, I did not write about Egypt, or labor rallies in Wisconsin, or the mayoral race in Chicago. I cuddled with pillows and read. I lounged under bubbles and read. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner in mostly solitude--and read.

On February 27th, I traveled from Kenosha to Chicago for a 3-day trip and got lost in North Park Nature Center with all my luggage.

*North Park Nature Center Chicago, picture from DJM75s Flick acct.
This is what came of that trip:

Feb. 27, 2011

North Park Nature Center, 11:30am—lost in a familiar place. How often does that happen to you? Me? Quite frequently of late. But it’s ok this time. Warm sunbeams and the aroma of burning wood ride on a crisp gentle wind. Deer strolling among geese resting on their return northward journey. No better place to found, unless beside the burning wood. If only I could stash the 20lbs of baggage to enjoy it all unencumbered. 

It’s been too long away from Mother Earth. Too long prisoner in my mind, running in circles and bouncing off the padded cerebral walls. Here, it is all so simple. This is what I need. Again, I’m reminded of my heart’s desire. Again. Can I not get it right?

Somewhere out there is a circle of writers, imagining and communing around the flames. Spirit has set me here, alone at a damp picnic table with just enough dry spots beneath the bare branches inside natures’ song to scratch out his message. So easy to be content with where you are placed when all your brothers and sisters around are content.

I want my own home again. 
Spirit decided it was time and the writers found me. Luggage stashed, the icy crunch beneath our boots, we went on to observe a heart pulsing short black fur, curled inside the hollow of a bark-stripped tree. It allowed us to gather, stand, point and stare as though it were something exotic, rather than a probable snoozing raccoon. How many times has it suffered through 2-leggeds watching it nap?

The journey continued round the path, alongside waving cattails immersed in frozen marsh. With calm acceptance of their naked vulnerability, the Standing People are confident that lushness will surround them soon and buds will perk excitedly. 

All in due time my pretty, all in due time. 

The whirling wheel inside my head has momentarily ceased; there is no nourishment here for its spinning madness.  

*I'll post my own pics soon. 

Now, I'm in the city again for a 4-day trip and am really not doing much more than the same. Wu Wei. And thoroughly enjoying it. I picked up a few more books, of course. Gear's first book: People of the Wolf.

And then I found a few books to help me with my novel research that were written by a fellow Chicagoan, Allison Amend: Stations West. Things That Pass for Love will actually serve as samples of debut books--another thing I've been researching.

I have been doing 'some' writing and you can find it at dk's right to write blog.

So there, that's what I've been doing while I haven't been blog posting. Hopefully, I'll be forgiven. If not, I am fine with Wu wei and hope you are as well.

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