It is a new beginning. At least, that is what we have called it. There is some sense that we have been given a second chance, and that we can now move on into the next part of our lives together with the potential of doing it “right” this time. It feels good to know that is the possibility, however it feels daunting (and a bit presumptuous) since it is the NOW that seems good. I think we are feeling tentative about trying to project very far forward from here, and I know that I am feeling unqualified to figure out how to do it “right.”
So, I am torn. Part of me wants to just relax into this. I feel like I could be happy just packing some sort of emotional picnic, and settling into the quiet here alongside Himself. On the other hand, I am so very aware that we sailed merrily into this last calamity with no real plan; simply going along believing we had it all well in hand... It begs the question: would it be better to move more planfully? How does one “stay in the now” while planning for the “not now?” I'd sort of like to fall back onto the traditional "submissive" role, and put the whole responsibility for figuring this out in His lap -- but that hardly seems fair. We got ourselves into the mess together, and we have survived to this point together, and with any luck at all, we will figure out how to make what life we have ahead of us be good for all of us ... together.
There is a list floating around the social networks, taken from Keri Smith's book, How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum. I think it is meant to guide young scientists and artists (or perhaps not only the young ones) in approaching the world as a studio or laboratory, but it seems to me that the world of intimate relationship might also be happily approached through these ideas. It feels more open-hearted than that urge to grab control but more conscious and aware than my floaty picnic image. A middle way maybe? Loosely, here it is:
- Alway be looking.
- Consider everything alive and animate.
- Everything is interesting.
- Alter course often.
- Observe for long durations.
- Notice the stories around you.
- Notice patterns and connections.
- Document your findings.
- Incorporate indeterminancy.
- Observe movement.
- Create a personal dialogue with your environment.
- Trace things back to their origins.
- Use all of the senses in your investigations.
So, maybe I can relax and actively engage simultaneously. Maybe I can live and learn in the same moment. Maybe I can be in the now with awareness that each now drives me and us into the next. Maybe, finally, I can stop my endless and lifelong rounds of “what if” questioning, and simply see what is around me. Maybe that will be enough of a plan.