Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The meditative kind

Via San Leonardo - near Johns Hopkins
Life here often feels like one long inhale. The meditative kind. Not the kind you do to make sure you don't do something you'll regret.
When I wrote about my work for my final show, I talked a lot about how powerful meditative, repetititve processes are. They make up rituals, ceremonies, traditions, music, housework, caring for people. Repetitive processes are often executed with our hands, creating muscle memories that make work seem like second nature. We begin to anticipate which action comes next and prepare for it without even having to think. But we do think, just about other things.

By painting square, square, square, square, circle, circle, circle, circle, line, line, line, line I got lost in the process and began to get caught up in contemplative reveries that could last for hours.

Nothing I do now can last for hours anymore (naps times are sometimes the rare exception), but the same feeling I got while painting I often get while walking through the city and absorbing the repetition (arch, arch, arch, arch, shutter, shutter, shutter, shutter, pillar, pillar, pillar, pillar), or placing each piece of clothing on the drying rack, or playing the same games and singing the same songs with Ada day in and day out.

There's comfort in repetition. Perhaps that's why I haven't really felt homesick here. The routines we keep each day make us feel that life is predictable, even when much of the time it isn't (see: us moving across the ocean for graduate school). So I'm glad for this city of repetition. I felt so at home here visually. The walks to the store or the library or the school are often accompanied by similar reveries (albeit shorter in duration).

I think about how different my life is from the women at Mike's school. I wonder what they think of it all.  I think about how my life is a product of my choices and how I don't regret one of them even though they seems crazy or scary while I made them. I think about feelings of fulfillment and accomplishment. I think about productivity. And I think about how my definitions of all of those things have changed so dramatically, even in the last two months. I think about what my life will look like several years from now. I think about what Ada will remember. I think about how she's growing and what an outgoing girl she is. I think about how much I love her. And how I love Mike. And that I am so, so blessed.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...