My dog nudges me awake almost every morning around 6 am. That’s pretty early, but it’s OK. I have nowhere to be and nothing really special to do these days, so even if I’m tired–I can catch a quick nap later.
On our stroll around the neighborhood, I see all the holiday decorations going up. And there’s talk on everyone’s lips about what they will be serving this year for Thanksgiving, how many guests will arrive or where they might be flying to spend it.
Oh yeah…it’s Thanksgiving this week?! For me my blended weeks just seep into one another, like a watercolor left out in the rain. Being unemployed and unencumbered, leaves one marking the beat of the calendar or week not by numbers but other more subtle things.
That ‘grid’ that used to rule my life every day for so many years feels now like a distant memory. Today could be Saturday and tomorrow Fourth of July. Delineated moments now only come with sunrise and sunset and when the dog needs to go out. I have become more like my ancient relatives and move with the pull of the earth.
The months used to drag upon my weary life as I ripped off the pages that hung on the wall. Each year thrown in the garbage, gone to be recycled into some other bit of energy, but no longer mine.
Now I pass through my moments slowly and with grace. I’m finding parts that were begging to be seen and are now fluttering to the surface. I’m understanding why great artists (like poets, writers, choreographers, painters, musicians, authors, lyrists) are just that: artists. They must have time and space to create their works and not be bogged down by the incessant clatter of the daily noise of the grid.
At first I was lost without the lines that separated each day from the next, telling me what day was what and what I had to get up and do. Stress enveloped me and guilt passed through my bones saying I had no right to live this way. Of course, it’s not that I haven’t been looking for work, but rather I’ve made a conscious choice to step out of my old profession, therefore cutting my chances down considerably.
But suddenly one day the stress fell away. Somehow I realized this “gridless” life was a gift. I felt free. Seeing now that I have the ability within this period to take the chance that I never had before to slow down time. Finally I can stop riding the chilling train I had been taking careening me too quickly forward towards the inevitable end.
Instead, I can heal the parts within me that needed it–those parts that had to be dug out of the crevices of my innards. Never had there been time before to stop, listen and search those parts of myself and see these hidden aspects. As a friend said: you must empty before you can fill up.
As the moments and days softly turn into one another, and no obligations appear before me, I metamorphose into something new. I too have no shape, no lines that confine me now. It is my time to become whatever may be possible.
This life without lines, living off the grid may not last forever, but while it does, I embrace it! With its dream-like quality I pass from one sunrise to the next and wonder: what will today bring? And with an open mind and spirit I great each new day.