My version of peace

My version of peace

Friday, October 31, 2014

It's more of a question than an answer.

Washougal.  This small town continues to grow on me.  It is my second fall season that I will pass here. And as I reflect on the passing of this last year, I find myself more connected to this area, increasingly happy that I am here.   A friend came out to visit earlier this week.  She pointed out how much nature was at the forefront of our surroundings.  Every morning I step out of the trailer that Ben and I live in, and immediately I am greeted with the smell of pine, rain, and dirt all gloriously mixed together.  It's beautiful.  That alone makes it worth it to be a little more out of the way.  I work in Clackamas and often I get comments from others that I come into contact with, about how the commute must be rough. And yes, the traffic isn't my favorite, but I am thankful that I can shake off the city when I come home.  
When I come home there is separation from work life.  Which is kind of an interesting phenomenon in itself.  I'm talking about the way that we separate and compartmentalize aspects of our life.  Every so often it hits me that the things I go out and experience during my day are things that Ben really knows nothing about.  I can tell him stories of my co-workers, the story I heard on NPR, or an embarrassing moment that happened on my way into the office building, but those experiences are really my own.  The work culture that I do business in, the clients that I see, the stories that I hear of their experiences, are all things that I alone hold.  And of course I am not the only one who experiences this.  All of us go out into different communities in our own way, and experience life through our own lenses.  And then we come home. There is separation.   Or at least, physical separation.  This is just one example of how compartmentalization happens in our lives.  I think it is easier to use work and home life as an example.
But I think this is a natural coping strategy and I think this mechanism keeps us more intact emotionally, spiritually, physically.  There needs to be separation from what we experience on a daily basis, and there needs to be a safe place to come home to at the end of the day. Whether you spend more of your time at home creating that safe space for others, or whether you are out working from dawn to dusk, our environment effects our well being.  And I think the tragedy that occurs, is that often there isn't opportunity for good separation from the daily stresses.  They come home with us. And home becomes a place that doesn't let us lay down our guard.
So, these are just my observations.  I think it is worth considering how our daily environments effect us, and I think it is worth noting whether or not we experience separation from daily stress. I think this raises more questions than answers, and the conversation can get really big, really fast.  But I think it has to start with what we notice happening in our own lives and to recognize what is healthy and what is not.

Monday, October 6, 2014

In the midst of the mundane

Summer swept me off my feet. Some of it was good...and some was not so good. But I have welcomed the change of season, and with the change of season, some other changes in my life.  When I get married last September, I did not realize that I was embarking on a journey of change.  And I didn't realize what those changes would mean.  I mean, yes I knew that some things were going to be different.  The obvious things like, sharing my clothing drawers with men's pants and socks, coming home to the same human being at the end of the day.  (Which is a good thing.) 
It's been a little over a year. In a year I have also dealt with more unexpected changes, like how to balance personal wants/needs with family responsibilities.  There have been other changes, but this one is on my mind at the moment.  As I enter my late 20's I am freak out more and more about goals and ambitions that I have.  I freak out because the reality of providing for a family and how to make financially smart decisions tends to override my creative ambitions. And I hate it. I rebel against it.  I am constantly trying to figure out how to make my career, my values, and my creative ambitions all coincide and it feel frustrating to feel like I have to make compromises. I doubt I am alone in this.  I didn't really see this one coming though. I didn't see the struggle of it coming I should say. I think it might be one of those things that takes some of the wind out of the sails, brings the dreamer down out of the clouds, dumps the bucket of ice water down the back.  It makes me tired. 
I sound like a real downer. Luckily life gives simple pleasures on a daily basis. Luckily I have a community of family and friends that point out good things in life.  Luckily, in the midst of my own personal quandaries and questions, I have a life partner that makes me smile, a little girl who keeps my imagination alive and healthy, and  friends to make music with.  I want to keep my creative spirit fresh and firing, but I think I need community to help me with that.  I get worried that I will lose my inspiration for songs and poems, for writing.  That those things will get drowned out by worries in life.  But life doesn't stop happening around me. Creation doesn't stop happening. I think maybe if I live my life in isolation, then maybe I will have a harder time coming up with original ideas, but I am not alone.  And seeing and hearing things will lead to other thoughts, and those thoughts will continue to come out in songs and ideas. 
I think this has been perhaps a more cryptic and conceptual entry, but I think my point is this. That I won't lose hope in the midst of the mundane.  That the mundane may lead me on unexpected journey's and create venues for inspiration.