Thursday, December 31, 2015

only the essentials

on the line

There's a concept in a guided meditation by Dr. Ann Webster* that I've been interested in lately. She advises listeners to only keep the tension that they feel is necessary and to let go of the rest. I'd never heard anyone give permission to maintain tension. If you think about it though, we need a certain amount of tension to function, whether that tension comes in the physical form (musculoskeletal requirements to move) or emotional (healthy conflict that leads to better relationships or stress that precipitates action, etc). I've started to take note of where the excess tension is in my life. There's a ton of physical tension. Holding my muscles more rigidly than necessary during a run, scrunching at the trunk while I sit on the couch, clenching my jaw, the list goes on. Then there's the surplus of interpersonal and emotional strain. The anxiety spin. The blame game. The second guessing. The preemptive moaning and groaning about whatever X person is going to say or do in Y situation. On and on I could go, but there are homemade pizzas to be made and banjos to be practiced. I've decided that keeping this blog rolling is a tension that I should hold on to. It's stressful, and frankly, kind of aggravating, and it's unclear who's even out there. But I have to remind myself that I'm not doing it for you (sorry). I'm doing it for me as a way to play around with words and images and get outside the hum-drum everyday box to gain perspective. So my NEW goal is to post a haiku a day for the next year. This might be easier said than done if we take a trip that mucks around with internet access, but we will see how close I can get. In the meantime, here are the last additions to the December project:

some days I muddle
through the process wondering
what's the point of this?


without it you flop
and wobble, but only keep
the tension you need


do you need that vice
grip to avoid danger or
can you let it go?

*I first encountered Dr. Webster when I attended a mind/body conference held at Harvard Medical School. I recommend her guided meditations. I feel like I can focus better with the help of someone's voice.

picture: clothesline during sunset after a torrential downpour, near Kennett Square, PA, July 2013, film, Canon Tlb 

1 comment:

Steve Reed said...

That's an interesting concept -- necessary tension. I think every blogger wonders why they do what they do. The successful ones all do it primarily for themselves, as a way to mark the passage of time and exercise their creative muscles. (In my case, anyway.)

Writing for an audience is a quick path to frustration, when the audience doesn't materialize, or when they start to expect what the writer may not want to provide. You know?

But of course it's always nice to know that someone's out there listening. :)

Happy New Year!