Today’s assignment for my WordPress project is:
A Room with a View (or just a View)
(We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now?)
On the one hand, I’ve always loved traveling and dreamed of a life built around it, though what I’ve achieved so far while ample is much less than I’d imagined. I love exploring new cultures, new people, new ideas, art and landscapes. Discovery. At the same time, since forever possibly I’ve been drawn to water and have managed to live within an hour or so of an ocean or some large body of water most of my life. Surprisingly though I’d never noticed the pattern until I was actually living only a block once from the Atlantic. The little seaside European style village felt like a fantasy-land surrounded by the big beautiful sea! It was an old ship building village with narrow sometimes cobblestone streets, seventeenth century houses and a peek at the sparkling blue ocean around every bend. A quintessential coastal village.
Here I was plopped down beside an endless body of calm, peace, and for me, security. I loved being lulled to sleep by the tide rolling in and out at night when the windows were open. Commuting home from work in Boston, my spirits predictably rose as soon as we crossed the bridge to the north shore and I could smell the water. I was perfectly content walking by it, biking by it, or just sitting on a bench staring at it, a vast expanse of magnificent waltzing blue.
The ocean feels so much more alive to me than terra firma, an enormous body that can gently dance and sway, like a very good dance partner, but is still strong enough to float an ocean liner, and tender enough to run my fingers through. In its deep lie untold mysteries to tempt the imagination just as its wide horizon constantly beckons to come sail away.
This assignment makes me think more deeply about longing for the sea, the sense of serenity and strength on one hand, and its invitation to dance on the other, especially now that I’m much more than a block away, often feeling stifled, sometimes as if I couldn’t breathe.
Within the last couple of weeks I happened upon a quote from Thoreau’s Walden that I’d never read before.
“Nay, be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you, opening new channels not of trade, but of thought. Every man is the lord of a realm beside which the earthly empire of the Czar is but a petty state, a hummock left by the ice.”
This coinciding with much I’m reading and discovering about the mental nature of this world we live in, our universe. Nothing actually is as fixed, as absolute as we believe. It’s all kind of mutable you might say. Apparently this becomes more evident as we learn to be more present, to be still, in the moment, the Now. It makes sense as I consider that creativity is usually born in focused stillness. Something I’ve always had trouble with. Einstein said he got his best ideas relaxing in the bathtub! And I’ve heard many artists say they chose to forego certain close relationships to protect their creative process. Letting the mind reveal the depths within.
The Scriptures do say the kingdom is within. Not lo here, or lo there. We’re living in an age with creativity bursting at the seams. New ideas and new people on our shores and everyone elses.
It says to me my ocean magic as well as my travel fruitage are within me, wherever I am open and still enough to allow what I seek out in the wild blue yonder to surface from within. The serenity and peace and calm I crave, along with the beauty and richness of faraway places may be right here in my living room.
In fact I do know this. I’ve certainly studied it long enough. I just have to accept it. Be still and love it. Believe the words on the pages I’ve studied and dive into my own pool.
While I still love the water and hope some day to live near it again, to travel more, it occurs to me that might happen sooner as I recognize I’ve got what they offer already. “It’s in there”, as the commercial used to say, in here, in me!