“When you feel stuck, or fear an ending, remember that you exist within a life-wave, that life is always moving. Waves have high crests and low troughs, and stuckness is just an indication of an impending turn in your wave. Nothing ever truly stops; you can count on an ongoing momentum to move you repeatedly and ever more quickly now, through ups and downs and beginnings and endings. The more you allow yourself to relax into the current and feel that everyone and everything is somehow in the same flow with you, the easier the turns will be.”
Penney Pierce, from her book Frequency
I had a big work deadline this past week that required most of my focused attention until the project was done and ready to be sent out. It is the nature of this business of architecture, to be accountable for making a set of documents that contractors can put a price on. It means that every detail that has a dollar number attached to it needs to be considered and represented in some way. For weeks I had been stuck in a place that wasn’t enjoying the process. I dreaded sitting down at my computer with the feeling that I needed to finish it quickly, by a certain time, whether I was ready to or not. I kept waiting for the joy to appear, the fun that would move me more quickly to the desired end.
I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m good at my job. I have to keep reminding myself of this when I am at the trough of the wave. My mind knows that the wave of this work is always moving, that even if I physically leave the drawing, I am still working on it. My heart knows the feeling of love for this seemingly static thing called a building continuing to grow through the changes of renovation. I can’t will myself feel good about accomplishing the little bits I may be able to accomplish on a day to day basis, while otherwise walking in the woods or working on a quilt or writing. When I feel stuck this way, not making visible progress, or can’t see the end in sight, it is simply because I am resisting what I know. That there is no end, just the deadline, and as much as what I am doing might eventually look complete, it will change and become something else just by virtue of how it is perceived.
The joy finally did appear this past week. Like moving toward the crest of a wave, like the final quilt composition that is ready to be sewn together, like the words of a chapter that have begun to flow together just right, the details of this set of documents fell into place naturally. Once in this awareness, I was able to effortlessly complete the package and send it out. The wave at its crest began to turn back down toward a new beginning. Each day moving through the beauty of changing fall color, like a current moving along a spectrum of light that is always there, I could feel life taking on a different form each moment of its travel.
The pools of water and their reflections kept calling, reminding me that even here, where all is seemingly still with water at rest, form and light will change in a instant. I might not see the inner molecules of the water, but I could feel them sharing this truth with me.
Even while I was feverishly typing specifications and completing detail drawings, I was being drawn to the table where two new fabric constructions were happening, the beginning of a new quilt.
I love the feeling that I exist within a life-wave flowing toward new beginnings and new ends in equal measure. I saw a photo of a knitted shawl that prompted me to dig out some yarn I bought months ago, compelled to begin the project right now,
not at all surprised when I started knitting that I was seeing the exact same range of color that was right out my window.
Life is always moving. The challenge is to stay aware of where the wave is about to turn.