All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
I've been in the doldrums all week. Technically, in sailing terms, doldrums mean windlessness and drifting. That's how I've been feeling. Windless. I've had blog block and project block and I've been sleepy.
This condition could be the result of the Young Man's departure. (Now that he's left and will be on his way to college when he gets back, I've dropped the "Boy A" name.) After months of planning, he left for India for 18 days earlier this week. That was a big effort, and poof, now he's gone and there's nothing to do on that front but wait for him to come home. Sigh.
It's hot here, too. Even the dog isn't his usual peppy self. Also, I had one of those sneaky internal narratives going on about not posting enough, not doing enough, not being enough, not, NOT! ENOUGH! Heavy sigh.
Ever get one of those going in your head? Not a good loop for focusing on what's possible. No wonder there's no wind in my sails.
The best interrupt I know to any "stuck" story is to review, edit, and to get going making more news that I like (about myself and the world). If I review the evidence, there's enough worth sharing here without too much composing or creating necessary:
My Young Man's graduation trip to India came with suggested reading which I did and he did not. The very attractive photojournalism trip also includes many days staying with villagers, farmers (and goats and yaks maybe) in Ladakh, an area near Tibet which many consider to be a model for sustainability (and for trying to stay sustainable under heavy western tourist influences). A good book about this is Ancient Futures.
And yesterday, as I was looking for a link to put on the Boy's (oops) Facebook page in case he's checking his e-mail and has a sudden desire to read about where he's going (hah), I found this fabulous NYT article by one of my favorite writers, Pico Iyer. I wonder what impact this balancing act in Ladakh between a sustainable, connected people and Western globalization will have on an 18-year old California boy.
Speaking of sustainability, this spring I signed on as a part-time volunteer with the Story of Stuff project after I wrote this post about Annie and this about the Story. Let's just say I have become hyper-conscious of what I buy, where things come from, and where they're going after I'm done with them. I was delighted to read this wonderful post by Britt Bravo at HaveFunDoGood about Ari Durfel, a guy who kept his trash for 6 months--a trash meditation (a braver soul than I). If you've been thinking about your own move to zero waste (or something closer to it) his story is a must read.
I've also been putting more of my attention to giving now since June. I reentered the 29-Day Giving Challenge for a second round, hoping someday it will become the natural way of my thinking in everything I do and everywhere I go. I haven't been great about my journal on the site, but I have been pretty consistent at remembering the intention. Some of the highlights are my donation to Camfed, many gifts of non-martyr-like assistance to my sons, free-cycling clothes and household items to anyone and everyone, and I returned a client's payment for a month as a gift. She was surprised. Mostly, the giving has been small, but intentional and, because it causes me to see everyone as someone receiving a gift from me, my relationships and my days seem to be lighter and happier, even in the doldrums.
Well, now that I've put this all down, I can feel a little breeze lifting my sails. Hope you found something here to click and enjoy, and if you've hit your own summer doldrums, I hope you find a different story and your own light breeze soon.