In a long-ago job, a manager once told our team – “I don’t want to hear about a problem unless you have a solution to offer.”
I’ve tried to take that as a guideline for blog posts: not to kvetch about an issue unless I can work my way through it to an answer…or at least a new perspective.
Lately, though, between rollercoaster headlines – the violent seesawing between hard-fought wins and losses for the environment, social justice, the economy, one humanitarian disaster after another – the death of my dad and the breaking up of the old homestead – I’m feeling stunned into silence. Have felt stunned into silence for months, for most of this year, truth to tell. Brief, glittering and profound phrases flicker randomly through my mind, but heavy-hearted, I feel exhausted at the mere thought of connecting them into a message to inspire thought, feeling, or action..
I’m not alone in this. I know that. Activist friends, writer friends have shared their own feelings of shocked and devastated wordlessness in response to the events of the day.
And I know with equal certainty that my spiritual exhaustion stems also – perhaps even more – from insufficient daily, purposeful, practice in engaging with nature. Just to hug a tree, to sit on a stone and feel the earth under my hands, to work in my garden and listen to the guidance of the plants, revives my energy. This depletion from the human excesses around me is a sure sign of “nature deficit disorder” in my life.
And just as suffering offers the lesson of compassion, this exhaustion reaffirms the source and inspiration of my creative energy.
So…to renew, get out each day, away from keyboard and screen; go out of the house and feel the rain on my face. Listen to the whispers of the ancestors, in all their faces and races and species, in the rustle of wind in the trees. Hug a tree, place my feet between her roots, and feel my own roots reaching into the earth.
To renew creative energy, renew connection to the conscious, living, interconnected creation. To stop feeling alone, stop *being* alone.