Welcome to my newsletter, Abbe’s Ruminations. I mull, contemplate, ponder – old and new experiences, finding what I call the joy and laughter of repetition or the abandonment to not knowing.
Can you give me the time of day?
How easily my attention is pulled away from my intentions. The demands of outside forces, whether it be kids, parents, school, work, or even passions, take over and little is left.
Today I rose early even by my own standards. The sun remained asleep, and the moon rested. I carved out a time before the machinations of the fixed world began. My body moved with the slow meditations of a yoga routine honed over a half century that is brand new to me daily. No thoughts, just the movement.
As I awaken awareness of street noises begin. The garbage truck clangs as the metal tong lifts and empties the bin. Red flashes and beeps mark the arrival of forklifts at the construction across the way.
Still the light of day sleeps, as the sun doesn’t rise with the makings of the work world. My quieted mind begins to fill with thoughts of essays to be written, drawings to paint, and the worries of family and finances.
The switch from empty to full reminds me of the leaves of an overwatered plant, stems saturated, roots rotting, and the rigidity of the leaf wilts. My shoulders sink and my posture feels the fullness of too much. I appreciate productivity but find my best lost with a saturated mind. Would less water have kept the leaves perky? Would my own isolation be like a desert thirst and shrivel my brain stem?
The input of information, the desire to interact, and the ability to multi-task changes with needs, as I too must. How to allow for connections to blossom, to remain curious and not overwhelmed? How to open oneself to the unknown and find fascination?
I appease my overcrowded mind and take a walk. Along the city route a bedraggled man sits on a bench, we nod and half smile. No words exchanged. Most of the pedestrians zero in on nothing or their phones. An hour later after a quiet walk, I circle back calm and ready to receive and give. The bedraggled man remains at his post. The other walkers turn their eyes away, in politeness or distain. I pass him and smile broadly, “Nice day to sit.” He replies, “Yes, I hope you enjoyed your walk.”
I return to my unfinished essay and within minutes the words flow. I felt the spark of a stranger who observed, remained steadfast in his world, and connected. I found pleasure as the man on the bench gave me the time of day.
Abbe is the author of six books, novels, essays, poetry, and a children’s book.