It’s The Quiet And Still Breath That I Forget

Archive:  May 25, 2010
I woke up this morning, unsettled and restless.  The very homeless state that I had thought I’d settled into creating a place for worry and anxiety.  I don’t know when I will be back in my home.  I don’t know where my things are, I don’t know a lot of things right now.  So when I woke up I got dressed, went out, got a cup off coffee, came back to the house I am staying at, and got back into my pajamas.  This was a way of telling myself I had the right to rest today.  To get to pen and ink, to read, to be still, to think about the weekend which was probably too full.


I thought I had a wonderful idea this weekend.  And maybe it was, maybe I’m drained or just feeling melancholic, but I decided to drive this weekend and to stop when I felt like it, to turn around when I felt like it.  To be impetuous when I felt like it.  To be alone because I felt like it.  And hopefully to find myself on the road.  Picking up pieces of me that I wanted to grasp more tightly onto.  I make a pact with myself to throw something away every time I stopped.  And in the spirit of celebrating my own life I went out and bought my first digital camera (welcome to 1997 young lady) on the way out of town and I began the long process of throwing away a lot of trash I’ve accumulated in my van over a very long period of time and worsened by the removal from my home.

The general idea was to either go to Chattanooga (which is a city that is rich in art and beauty, only 2 hours away) or to drive south on I-65 until I felt like stopping.  Having not actually stopped in Alabama for anything but a bathroom break on tour, I chose to drive south on I-65 and see where I landed.

The journey would be warm and filled with sweat.  A bit like driving to Bakersfield from Fresno, but greener and filled less with the smell of cow manure.  I no longer have air conditioning in my van, so this is a plight I have grown accustomed to in the south.  The only real downfall being that I burn more gasoline with open windows than I would with the air on.  I digress… My first stop brought me to a monument in Alabama which was erected to Space exploration.  A giant Spaceship jutting into the blue summer sky.  I stopped at the rest stop and wrote for a while, emptied trash from my van and took pictures of the spaceship.I don’t want to bore you with unnecessary details of the trip.  And I’m still trying to process what it meant or what good is going to come from it.  But essentially I ended up exploring Historic Decatur, AL and taking tons and tons of pictures.  Mostly of homes and some really cliché pictures of flowers.  Why?  Because I can.  And I needed the time to be and to inspire myself and to be adventuresome, alone, and not in Nashville.

It was a good day.  But I think it gave me a really strong sense of the physical displacement that I’ve been feeling.  I came home to 2 days of my dog being totally stressed out and sad and this simply mirrored what I was picking up in myself as well.

I woke up to this thought:  I don’t know where I’m living or when I’ll be living there.  I feel tired and stressed out, under rested and over stimulated and hungry for peace and my own bed.  Hungry for my own life to start instead of just revving my engine.  I feel as though it’s been years since I’ve moved here and I’ve spent most of my time just staring at the starter, trying to get the guts to put my key in.  Now the key is in and I’ve just been listening to the engine run.  Wondering where to go and how to get started again.  

I’ve been learning to dream again.  Giving myself permission to hope and imagine.  But what about vision for the future?  Where is my vision?  And when is my passion going to overtake my peace?  I feel tons of stillness when I take the time to write but joy is like a dripping faucet and passion is something I’m afraid to get going perhaps?  And so I end up feeling more like a I might imagine a trappist monk must feel frequently.  Stuck and generally okay with it.  Zen in the fact that I feel tons of peace where I am but it is so uneasy.  And I fear that it could lead to complacency or even more, I fear that the circumstances will not change.  That I will not receive vision, that I will come up with my own lame idea and invest my talent and energy into it for no reason.

So I am processing through my wants and my desires and giving myself permission to dream.  Hoping that passion and vision kick in.  Hoping that this zombie like state I feel mired in comes to a close.  That I will have room to breathe.  Understanding of what’s coming next and the ability to move forward without hinderance.  To cry out against the darkness as a star does in the sky.  To present myself, wholly me, and to give hope to people who have no hope.

I have decided that service may be a key in all of this.  I noticed after last week (the week of my birthday) that I was feeling empty and self-centered.  My head full of what was important to me and me being celebrated.  My own weird expectations of others taking over but only in light of my own life.  I haven’t been disconnected from the flood situation but until today I didn’t feel like I could physically handle the stress of volunteering as I was dealing with trying to clean my own mess as a result of the displacement.  But my city is suffering and maybe it’s time to not manage my own emotions and mess but instead to bless others.  Could it be possible that by volunteering at a homeless shelter I might be able to have true perspective?  I think this is probably a key to this whole process of vision.  How in the world can I expect to receive vision when I am only looking at myself?

So tomorrow I begin stepping out into the unknown of my own future and my own vision.  Stepping up, somehow, to serve and making an attempt at not looking at my own messes until there is something I can physically do with them.  Like move back into my home.  I am homeless but not without shelter.  I am being tended to.  I am being blessed.  It is so important that I pour out what I am receiving so that others may receive as well.

So that’s that.  I guess that’s my conclusion for now.  Service may or may not provide vision.  But to do what is right is right and I have to trust that the rest will fall into place in its time or I have no hope at all.

I say all this because I can not be the only person in this place.  And maybe being open with where I am will help.  Maybe it won’t.  But it’s up.  It’s present.  It’s ready.  It’s a quiet and still breath that I’m breathing but I’m still breathing.

Kat Jones