Stick your shovel in the soil

On allowing time to weather your work

I’m so restless tonight.

I’ve been reading all day, but I’ve been consumed with the angst that I should be creating something. Yet, adding to the swell, is the disorienting reality that I don’t know what I should be creating.

So here I find myself peering into a blank screen typing away in hopes the answer might find it’s way out of my subconscious and onto the page by way of the pitter patter of my finger tips.

But until then, I write.

Until then I wonder.

Something in these words, these letters, are pulling my heart. There’s something, something, in these notes.

Something, it seems, I’m unable to see.

Five years ago, I figured I’d need to live a lot of life before being able to write anything new that was worthwhile. Yet, five years later, having circumvented the globe several times over — more life than I found in the previous 25 — I sit here voiceless.

Maybe it requires a greater separation, a distance, a perspective, only more time can bring. 

Life lived doesn’t mean life understood.

The tectonic plates deep within my being are shifting in profound ways. More than rearranging the furniture, I feel like my entire world view is being stripped down to the studs (again).

What’s interesting about this time is that last time I felt like it was a reckoning, an armageddon, that was happening to me. This time I’m in every sense doing it to myself.

Personal choice doesn’t make it any less terrifying.

It feels as though I’m walking from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end. At present I feel halfway down the incline between the two. My nose barely cresting the surface. I’m trying to find the faith to trust that if I let the depths envelop me that, like my evolving beliefs, I’ll evolve and gain breath somehow beneath the surface.

Despite the fears, I know I belong underneath it all.

As I often say, despite our society’s insistence to the contrary, the deeper, more fulfilling path to liberation is through the floor (not the ceiling).

I feel like I’m pawing around in the dark on my hands and knees searching for that trap door.

I know it’s down here somewhere, and only a matter of time — a process of elimination — before I find it.

Desperately, I read and read and read.

Trying to find fragments of language to give my inner wanderings voice. Despite my frantic pace, it feels like I’ve savored but a single drop in a vast ocean. I can’t seem to read fast enough. There’s so much infinity to explore.

I love words, language, ideas. 

I know my creation lies in plain sight. In these phrases.

Like Mark Morison said: “You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it.”

Maybe, like a fresco, I’m too close to it.

The image only coming into focus if you step away and look from afar.

I’ve been trying to write things and forget them.

Letting time be the ultimate judge of their wisdom.

Time to ideas is like water to earth. It washes everything away but the bedrock.

I’m searching for bedrock. Ideas, phrases, words that deepen and expand with age.

Time has a way of wearing down brittle thought until it breaks and deteriorates into dust. 

Much of what’s in these notes will fall into the latter. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

The only way to end up with a small bucket worth sharing is to create a mountain’s worth that isn’t.

The nuggets are in there, but the only way to find them is to stick your shovel in the soil a thousand times over.

That’s what I’m doing tonight. I have no idea why I’m writing or where it’s going.

But my shovel’s in the soil.

Scoop, scoop…scoop.

Proof of life is in the struggle.

The only way for time to do it’s work is to give it enough opportunity to weather on your work.

To do that you have to show up.

I haven’t been showing up. I drift in and out flippantly. I feel rudderless, whimsical, amateurish.

Pro’s show up. Every day.

No excuses.

I show up when I’m inspired (which is rare these days). Yet the pro knows, inspiration shows up for those who show up no matter what. 

For time to give you, you have to give your time.

The most amazing things emerge out of simply giving minutes for minutes sake.

There’s no way to know what will come of each blank page. Many times nothing at all comes of it beyond the minutes logged.

Yet, every so often a diamond emerges from our subconscious that makes all the “worthless” time priceless.

🤝 Stay in touch

I send an email several times a year with a handful of the most interesting things I’ve written or uncovered at home, abroad, and on the web.

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