Saturday, February 2, 2013

busy-ness and the space between

It's been a few days since I've been able to be in this blogging space and I've missed it. I can hardly believe it is February already (Happy Groundhog Day!). Sometimes during the day or as I drift off to sleep at night I find myself composing posts in my head. Most of them never see the light of day. I don't know why sometimes it can seem so difficult to make the time to write things down. You know how an  entire day can pass and the only thing I've done is breastfeed, change diapers, and make dinner? Busy isn't quite the right word, but speaking of busy...

I recently read a post on my friend's blog about banishing the word "busy" from one's vocabulary. She cites a couple of different eye-opening articles (here and here), which I read and have been thinking about ever since (after all this is my year to be more thoughtful). I was struck by how obnoxious it is to comment to everyone about how busy I am, followed by a listing all the different activities and commitments I have (which aren't even that many, let's be honest. I'm just a poor time manager). Blech. Everyone is busy, just like every one breathes and eats. Everyone always has something that needs to be checked off the list, something that needs tending to, fires that need to be extinguished. So why continuously point it out and compete with each other about it?

Enough of that already.

A few years ago during a koto lesson, my sensei was trying to articulate to me the difference between Japanese and Chinese styles of playing. She pointed out that the Chinese style was very complex and full. By comparison, the Japanese style seemed simpler and... more sparse. She explained that the music wasn't just about the notes, but about the space between. The Japanese call this kongoseki and it is not unlike the artistic principle of negative space. It's that space that brings the note (or the image) into sharper focus, giving it more meaning and value. Like the pause between the inhale and the exhale, it's not rushed or crowded. It is deliberate and confident, strong and supportive. It is the opposite of busy.

Isn't that a refreshing idea? Rather than competing with everyone for the more busy (therefore important?) lifestyle, why not focus on a few things and really take the time to enjoy them? To allow ourselves moments of peace and pleasure in between the responsibilities and tasks, without feeling guilty about it. Yes please... but is it possible? That was one of the reasons for starting this little blog in the first place - to chronicle our attempts at trying to live a Wabi Sabi life - being mindful and present in the space between. Sometimes that means not being able to blog for a few days or weeks or months even... and I suppose that's okay (so forgive us if our posts are somewhat inconsistent).

Just some thoughts. What do you think?

3 comments:

Mark said...

I, too, think a more erratic (not hectic) life is desirable. (Why eat dictated by the clock? How about dictated by the body?) Unfortunately, living "in the world" means marching to the beat of schedules (work, education, entertainment, transportation). We need more David Thoreaus in our life, not Henry Fords.

MaurLo said...

That is really beautiful. Good thoughts to think about...

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