I feel closest to just 'being' out on the trail, walking amongst the Tasmanian wilderness. i have few thoughts beyond the physical recognition of how cold or warm I am, the shape that the steam from my nostrils makes as it whooshes out, the sound of the button grass compressing softly beneath my boots. My body is warm with exertion, and my breath comes evenly as I move up a mountain. The weight of all the things I need to live well are on my back. I am. I simply am.
And this is perfection for me.
At home now with a strained/bulging disc in my lower lumbar I have none of this freedom of body or stillness of mind. I am bed-bound for most of the time with short forays out for working and collecting kids from school. Sitting is the worst, as the pain is most intense in this position. There is no lesson for me in this pain, only a reminder to rest and heal. So whats the problem? I'm just not content doing not much at all.
How do I find this peacefullness in myself when I cant get out on the mountain, when I cant MOVE? How can I simply just be still, and be?
A new friend of mine here in Tassie introduced me to the idea that we are human beings, not human doings, and while it sounds simplistic as a distinction, the more I think about it, the more I realise how much of our lives and sense of self worth is constructed around the idea of achivements,both small and large. Just going shopping, writing a blog, hanging out the washing makes us feel good. As does, completing a day of work at the office, delivering a lecture, writing a thesis. With these tasks, our presence is felt in the world. And when you stop (either by necessity or choice) and achieve little, it is the hardest thing to remain, well, bouyant. So I have a greater understanding of how hard it must be for my sister, who has been ill now for over 12 years with CFS to keep her head above water. This post is for you, Cat.