Monday, July 27, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Ruminating is a good thing. Just ask this guy; he knows.

My internet connection went down for a couple of days, giving me more time to ruminate than usual. Hence the hiatus in posting blogs and time yesterday for a hike at Point Reyes National Seashore to see a large herd of Tule Elk.

Before the hike I had the opportunity to review a sheaf of letters—multipage, hand-written efforts that took me hours to compose—I had sent my parents 35 years ago when I was just out of college. My parents had saved them, and when they died some years ago, I got them back. I put them in a box and hadn't looked at them until now.

Each letter included a report—somewhat dishonest— about how "busy" I was. (I was raised to accept as virtues being busy, engaged, and chipping away relentlessly towards life goals; I suspect that I was actually trying to conceal that I was not as busy as I imagined they would have wished.)

Looking back, I would not characterize myself as having been all that busy. I had time, after all, to write them long letters by hand. And I wouldn't feel bad about confessing finding time, lots of time, for rumination.

Rumination is what we need these days.

I'm told that in Chinese to write the word, "busy" they join the characters for "heart" and "killing."


steven said...

hi dan, it's funny that realization that you had projected the impression of being busy - and then unpacking why you felt that was necessary. for a very long time, i harboured that same necessity and wasn't entirely sure why. but you're right. it's about acknowledging the virtues we were brought up with!
the peaceful space i relish during the summer becomes very much fragmented during the school year but it's worthy time all the same. time for rumination as you say. have a lovely afternoon. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Summer provides an opening for reflection and rumination that, for me too, closes when the school year begins. This summer, I'm going into school well before the year begins to do some cleaning and planning that will, hopefully, ease the transition to the busyness of the school year.

Sarah Lulu said...


thanks for talking to me again ... *smile* ...

I have spent a life time ..busy.

I'm making improvements now and allowing myself time to simply be.

I love the elks!

Dan Gurney said...

The elks were very impressive. A volunteer interpreter told us that this fellow's harem includes about 40 females. He told us that guys like this are so busy tending to their harem that their lives shortened by about 4 to 6 years compared to the males who live out their lives waiting for mating. So this guy, as relaxed as he looks, is way busier than his peers. We saw small groups of males who lived together sans females. They were the truly laid back fellows.

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Dan~ I never would have thought that you would come across these guys at Point Reyes. I love that beach. I think Anne Lamott writes about it, but I'm not sure. Yes, I'm sure it's more stressful "riding herd" over 40 women than hanging out with the guys! Sounds kind of human even! My "busy" guilt is taking catnaps. I feel so refreshed after a 10-15 minute nap, but I have to hole up in my downstairs office in order to do it. I would feel so guilty if I were "caught" sleeping during the day! Everything happens for a reason--like your computer being down.