With Mary in New York for the next five days, I observed myself going about my usual evening routines without the benefit of the presence of my "other whole" (I hate the term "other half"!). I realized how much time I can spend just puttering away at myriad activities, the hours sailing by until the time for sleep descends. Between phone calls, preparing, eating, and cleaning up from dinner, feeding and walking the dogs, reading and answering emails, checking voicemail, and taking out the trash and recycling, how much time is really left for other endeavors on your average evening? Precious little, I say!
I assume that this pattern of behavior---human "do-ing"---is repeated and replicated all over my neighborhood, the region, the state, the continent, dare I say the world? Part of our human being-ness, it seems, is filling our lives with things to do, hence our doing-ness. While this is a natural and easy thing to do---and we all partake to differing levels---some of us are better than others in making more time for simply being.
Our dearly departed friend Woody was very good at manifesting himself in our midst and cajoling us out of our workaday torpor, getting us outside, taking the dogs running, engaging a then-young Rene in map-making or some other creative endeavor, and reminding us that there was so much to be found in the moment, away from the headiness of adulthood and the doing that it involved. I miss having his input and enthusiam in my life, and now I just say to myself, "What would Woody recommend in this moment? How would he change this state of mind I'm currently caught in?" There is only so much time we can spend paying bills, checking email, and organizing our ever-expending kingdom of stuff. Sometimes we need to eschew those well-worn paths of thought and action, embracing another way of seeing and interacting with the world. But it's so easy to forget that there is another way.
Sometimes it seems that there's no one else in the world I'd rather talk to than Woody, and I must comfort myself with the notion that I'm certain he's still here with me on a level which I just can't directly sense. I can talk to him, yes, and I can imagine what his response would be, but the void which remains is one which is still quite palpable, even more than three years after his untimely and violent death. I had no idea I was going to write about him tonight, but he naturally came up when I began to think about my mental state and how I spend my time and brain power.
That said, the power remains within me to change the way I make use of my time, how my thoughts control my feeling state, how I choose to be in the world at any given moment. Several minutes ago, I decided to simply write from my gut and follow the trail, which led me to this point, where I realize that the computer must go to sleep now, as should I, and the still summer air outside my window will hold this house in its damp embrace. Time for the recharging restfulness of sleep. May Orpheus treat you all well this night.