Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
~ Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.
~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
I have been trying to write this post for at least a week, maybe two. I’m not sure why it has been so difficult to sit down and type up something that has already been written in my head. I would attribute it to laziness, but I don’t think that’s it. Apathy might be a better word although that seems strong and harsh since it’s not really a lack of caring. More like a loss of blogging mojo.
As some of you might recall, I have been blogging in some format for a while. I started in 1999. I moved to WordPress in 2007. (Wow. Ten years here.) I have written under numerous pseudonyms, but have used my own name during my tenure here at WordPress. I am not sure how many blogs I’ve had. Even now, I couldn’t tell you how many are relatively current because I write here, there, and other places. Three, I think, are active (or were active before I slowed down recently).
Throughout my blogging career — which is not really a career, of course, because I’ve never been paid for it — I have taken the occasional break. Sometimes I take a break because I’m traveling or life is busy. Sometimes I take a break because I need to get away from recording my life and just live it for a while.
Over the past few months, I’ve been feeling something different. Or maybe it is closer to the truth to say I have not been feeling something. I have not felt like blogging. My heart has not been in it. Almost every post has been forced. There are days I write something in my head, but can’t find it in me to type it up and hit the Publish button because the motivation or passion or the blogging mojo just isn’t there.
For a while, I was unable to decide if this lack of passion for blogging included all writing or just blogging. Then I realized it wasn’t just writing. It was photography and drawing and all the things that usually speak to my soul (and allow me to speak with or through my soul). And that’s when I knew that it was part of the depression I’ve been feeling since late last year.
Yesterday someone posted something on Facebook that sort of woke me up. (Yes, in spite of all my attempts to extract myself from Facebook, I’m still there.) It was a link to a scientific study in the journal Palaeoworld regarding the release of methane hydrate from thawing permafrost in the Arctic, and a theory that global warming from volcanoes caused the Permian mass extinction event 250 million years ago. At the end of the abstract is this statement:
Global warming triggered by the massive release of carbon dioxide may be catastrophic, but the release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic. The end Permian holds an important lesson for humanity regarding the issue it faces today with greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and climate change.
The dramatic headline with this story was something about how life on earth as we know it could end within the next decade. I took that with the usual grain of salt, putting it up there with the next big earthquake (the one that they say will drop California into the Pacific Ocean) or the odds of an asteroid hitting Mother Earth. NASA, by the way, has plans to intercept a small asteroid as part of their mission to defend the planet from asteroids should any head in our direction, but that’s on hold until they know what’s going to happen with their budget. The story is here. In case you are worried about asteroids hitting us, the odds are 1 in 300,000 so you probably don’t need to lose any sleep over it.
Now, you might find that sort of headline and story about our possible demise depressing. I agree. It is. But it also made me think about how I’d want to spend my remaining days if I only had a year or five or ten to live. Honestly, none of us know how long our lives will be and most would probably agree that life for a human on this planet is short in the grand scheme of things.
So, I took some time to ponder my priorities in life. What are the things that bring me joy? Connecting with others, especially family and friends, is among the list of things that bring me great joy. Connecting is where I want to put some of my precious time. Blogging is one form of connection for me now that I’m out here in the Middle of Nowhere, and having thought about it that way, I’m feeling newly energized to blog again. Plus all I really had to do was say to myself, “I think I’ll quit blogging,” and my always-contrary mind said, “But wait! You LOVE blogging! You don’t really want to quit!” Isn’t it funny how the mind works that way? As soon as you say you’re going to give up something, your mind suddenly decides you must do it.
Take responsibility for your state of consciousness in the moment.
~ Eckhart Tolle
In keeping with my desire to shake off this depression (I know it’s not quite that simple, but go with me on this one) and live life fully, I’ve been thinking about manifestos. As sometimes happens in this strange and wonderful world, a coincidence occurred as my thoughts turned in that direction and I received an email about manifestos with a link to Lisa Sonora’s blog post How to Create Your Own Manifesto With 3 Gorgeous Examples to Inspire You. If you followed that link, you might have noticed Sister Corita Kent’s studio rules. My favorite is this one:
RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
I am going to adopt that rule. Because she’s right. It IS lighter than I think. And on that note, I’ve meandered enough for one day. Thank you so much for stopping by and meandering along with me. The photos are from my visit to Assateague on Saturday. A day at Assateague is always uplifting, no matter what the weather. I’ll probably share more photos with you soon.
It looks like we might have an interesting sunset tonight. Meet me at the Point and we’ll see what Mother Nature and Father Sky are up to this evening. Sunset is scheduled for 7:22 PM. It’s quite warm today (70°F last time I checked), but you might want to bring a jacket. It cools off quickly this time of year once the sun sets.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 156) Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. 157) Watching a Bald Eagle swoop in and steal something (probably a fish) from a Turkey Vulture. It’s amazing how fast eagles can pounce. 158) Observing the Great Blue Heron who has been visiting the pond as he or she fishes for his or her meals. 159) South Carolina’s win yesterday. Not that I’m a big sports fan, but it made M happy and that makes me happy. 160) The buds on the trees announcing springtime and new growth.