Full from our brunch of blueberries and a rhubarb-strawberry tart, we sat in the living room catching up. L. and B. were in town for a wedding. We were lucky enough to spirit them away for a few hours before they disappeared into the matrimonial machinery’s maw.
Their lives are complex, in a different rhythm from our own. Their reflections rich and resonant. B. asked how my life is different from “before”. The answer seemed easy: entirely. My days were once filled with resolving differences – governance, budgetary, systemic, often personal – and overwhelmingly in the company of others. Five, six hours a day on the phone, the rest in meetings, large or small. Now, hours go by without a word to anyone but the bunny outside my window. I read, write, listen, think.
There’s where they converge, I suppose: in finding the connecting threads, listening for the hints of alignment, contemplating what’s next, and why. Ideation, intellection, input, strategy, learning. These things have not changed. I’m like a walking advertisement for StrengthsFinder.
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The problem with blogging, I think as I swim, is that it is terribly self-absorbed. Here I am swimming and all I am thinking about it how I will write about how I am swimming, what I notice, whether I’ll talk about goal setting, the light, or how much room for improvement there is in my strokes.
I’m all up in my head.
The sun is still low on the horizon and the pool is empty but for me and my ripples. I note the light on the surface, the birds in the trees, the cars in the distance. My breathing is getting ragged as the laps mount up — not that the number is so big. It is hard work with my gimpy shoulder.
I dip my head under and pull forward with deep strokes. Everything else slips away behind me. There is only me and the water. Immersed.
No longer in my head. Now, fully embodied.
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