I sat down to write something today. Because it's a foggy day in the mountains. Because I had just made myself coffee. Because it felt like, certainly by now, I should have words to assign to all of my recent feelings. Or that, at the very least, after such a hiatus I could set my mind to wander and it would find something to say with such meandering.
My knee-jerk reaction was to call this wordless lapse "blank." And maybe the frustration was that, with such vastness, I should be able to put something down. Was I intimidated by the blankness? Uninspired by it? Overwhelmed that a nothing could actually stretch so far?
Then it occurred to me, my mind isn't blank at all. It's a swirling mess of tortured considerations and what ifs and actual, real ideas that take time to craft, not to mention the stuff of life that we've walked through in the last few months. So rather than crossing some barren mental state, I'm actually trying to work my way through a jungle of imagination. I'm not blind by the brilliancy that comes with desert territory. It's quite the opposite in this thick mass, and I'm cutting down the shrubs and vines and aged trees that have rooted themselves into my brain. It's dark here, little light gets in. But the more I cut down, the more I press on, I know I'll stumble upon places where the light pools in. It will be a breakthrough in the canopy overhead, and then clarity spilling from it.
Dark though it may be, and difficult to see, the beauty of a jungle is how alive it is. It is alive and life-giving in its humid and lush secrecy. It is rich here, and deep, unexplored, therefore exhilarating. All the best adventures always incorporate a little fear, definitely uncertainty, otherwise where is the rush? Where is the sense of conquering, the irreplaceable surge of new experience?
I have come to terms with my nomadic spirit, which is to say, though I will continue to work toward appreciation and contentedness, it's time to admit that I'm never very settled. I think stagnancy is what I need, but I'm never satisfied with it. What's next? What's new? What's out there? These have always been my driving questions, even when it's hard and exhausting. Even now, wanting something certain, waiting for answers to questions we asked months ago, there's a tinge of excitement for the things I can't yet see.
Maybe this is why I have the tendency to turn inward at the times when others admonish, "Reach out." Because my body is still, but my mind is not. My mind is chopping a path through hearty leaves of daydreaming and tangled vines of wondering. My mind is on an expedition, the internal nature being solitary. But when I stumble on those patches of light and that leg of the journey is suddenly made clear, then I promise to let you know.