the problem with thinking

The breeze outside my door sounds unhappy. It rummages through dry bright leaves and bumps against houses. This is the first sign I've had of autumn. The roughening of the winds, the frustration that lies under thick, soft heat : Nature sounds finally like she's ready for change.

And still the trees are green. But I'm learning, change takes its own time. Autumn will come when autumn comes, and my looking for it in every leaf and cloud won't influence that.




I will look anyway, as if my looking will draw the night more early upon me - for although I don't actually  believe that I can order the seasons, I'm unwilling to let go of looking, nevertheless. It's a symptom of helplessness, this long close watch, this overthinking about everything. It's a sign that my hands need more to do.

Years ago, I would notice the slow lovely shift to autumn, and promptly get about myself washing blankets, preparing autumn crafts, and gathering old brown and gold stories. I did not have to watch the season's growing, because I was part of it myself. There was no need for impatient waiting, or a thousand wishes for leaf-fall and rain-fall - doing fulfilled the heart. Waiting transformed into a rhythm of movement as I softened my house and readied my homeschool.

But these days I have less to do, and it's like I've slipped out of my natural weathering. The same happens when I find myself in any situation where I have little influence and little chance for doing. I begin overthinking. It's an imbalance, and an effort to gain control over what is happening.





I've come to believe that women and men are made for doing. Our thoughts should be our servants, helping us into action. It's why I love the Steiner philosophy of education, with its balance between head, heart, and hands. Too many of us become lost in a mental existence which gives us few opportunities to touch the world, shape the season in our home and garden, and through action strengthen our lives against storms and dry seasons. We think too much, we feel helpless, we break our hearts.


When my thoughts overwhelm me, I know it is not the cry of my mind but of my hands longing to take hold of the world, and my heart advocating for balance within me.


17 comments:

  1. This was beautiful. (I also like your new header) I'm so stuck up in my head but really crave the doing you describe. I start, and anxiety or any little problem has me scurrying back to my safe little head again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :-) Anxiety is a real jailor, isn't it?

      Your website looks so great.

      Delete
  2. mmmm. *nodding* we do that, don't we? think too much, participate too little at times in the moving river that is life. we forget that we are in it/of it, moving along willy-nilly, whether we notice or not. stuck in the head, yes. and the moment we quiet the mind (often by moving the body in dance or play or meaningful work) our blood and bones remember...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your comments are always so thoughtful and I really appreciate them :-)

      Delete
  3. I was locked inside my mind, my thoughts, my prison, for over 5 decades. Though someone else put me there, I chose to stay. I'm slowly freeing myself... I discovered it's never too late.
    I love your writings. They encourage thought and hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no its definitely never too late. I'm glad for you :-)

      Delete
  4. I love your blog so much, the words and the photographs are beautiful. This is exactly how I am feeling at the moment, I am ill and constantly looking for signs of improvement, for when I will be back on my feet. Not being to do anything or anything about it makes me feel helpless and I over-think all of the time. Thank you for a beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much. I really hope you feel better soon. ((hugs)

      Delete
    2. thank you sarah that's really kind

      Delete
  5. I struggle with this all the time. I'll carry your wise words with me today, especially this:

    "When my thoughts overwhelm me, I know it is not the cry of my mind but of my hands longing to take hold of the world, and my heart advocating for balance."

    ReplyDelete
  6. "Morrison is confined, mostly, to a wheelchair due to back pain that surgery, regretfully, did not fix. “There is this boredom or the absence of something to do,” she says carefully, each word so deliberate and slow it feels as though she’s reading poetry. “And I don’t wash dishes and I don’t wash clothes and I don’t clean my house—somebody else does that. So there’s this void….What you can pull, if you’re an irritable old lady, into that void, is every misstep, wrong word: Why didn’t you visit? Why didn’t you do this?”" - http://velamag.com/tiny-little-messes/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am learning this--what your have written here-- more and more about myself. I loved every line of this post and every photo.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is so lovely, as always. Yes thinking always seem to lead to worries for me. I've been trying to leave things to the Divine as I go about my daily tasks, and breathe, stop holding anxiety in my body.

    I hope rain and sweet autumn winds will be there soon for you sarah. I look for spring, the strengthening light, but there is still a lot of snow and gray skies here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are so right! When my head and heart become full, and overflow with emotions, ideas and thoughts I always feel satisfied when I use my hands to express them. x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Elizabeth WaggonerMarch 9, 2016 at 3:50 AM

    True thoughts on the changing seasons - the changing of heart. And yet . . . I find myself in the same place - but opposite. I keep moving because I can't quiet my brain or my spirit. I look for busy-ness because my mind twirls round and round, puffing out smoke like a toy train, getting nowhere and leaving me so unsatisfied. A traumatic season last year stripped away the quiet so that the thinking isn't really thinking - it's just noise. So - busy, busy, busy - do the chores, clean the things, put in order and reorder until the sweet need to rest and be still comes again and the nourishment returns to that quiet place.

    ReplyDelete