White noise and the winters of life
I’ve had a lot of what I call “white noise” in my head the last couple of days — random thoughts and incessant low level chatter. After the clarity following my death-defying drive up Hell’s Canyon, this feels dull and unproductive.
Clearly, there is nothing like a brush with death to force all the pieces into place.
This morning I woke up remembering a quote by Melody Beattie from her book, Journey to the Heart. I don’t have the book with me, but I believe it goes something like this: “There is never a time when nothing is happening.”
Conversely — Something is always happening.
After my divorce there was a long slow time when it appeared nothing was happening for me. I showed up for life — but just barely. My job was mindless and uninspiring. Nothing deeply stirred or interested me. I tried therapy, but I had nothing to say. I walked with my eyes to the ground, avoiding the stimulation of contact with other people.
One of my few friends told me it was a “winter of my life” and that, although on the surface I felt cold and dead, there was surely slow movement occurring deep within me. She said to keep putting one foot in front of the other and have faith.
She assured me that spring always comes.
And she was right.
One day while walking from my car to the post office, I heard a sound overhead and looked up to see a small shiny silver plane flying against a deep blue sky. I realized that it was a beautiful day. I felt something– not quite yet joy — but an appreciation of something visually striking. I remember it so clearly, even now — where I was, the time of day, what I was doing, and what I was wearing. It was the first glimmer of spring after a very long winter.
I feel joy and have moments of clarity all the time now.
So today I ask myself, “What’s the hurry?”
My new version of “keep putting one foot in front of the other” has become an enthusiastic “BE! LIVE! DO!”
So when the white noise buzzes in my head, I will remind myself that there is never a time when nothing is happening.
And that is really something.