Being fallow in our busy times

I’ve been struggling to write lately. The ideas are just not coming, the desire to blurt has gone quiet. I tried a couple of times; the posts didn’t seem authentic. And so, there has been silence from my end.

I wonder if this is the natural way to be.

Sometimes, we have a lot to say, it overflows. Maybe there are things we want to get off our chest, just have to. Or, we get a fresh insight into the person we are, the world we live in, the life around us. Wouldn’t it be great to let others know, we think eagerly, shooting off a post, a tweet, an update. Or, there is nothing new to report, but we want to connect. We talk, which in this virtual world we occupy consists of saying our piece on a social media platform, since getting a hold of real conversation partners is a bygone thing.

Sometimes, however, I think we go blank. I do. I find that I don’t have anything to say. I watch, I listen, I feel, and it stays inside. It’s like I’ve gone on vacation, an empty house standing where it always is, but no activity spilling out of it. Walk inside, bring yourself in with all your trappings, explore, stay. Feel the way the sun streams in every morning. Check out the way the sofa sinks down when you sit on it. Taste the ripe papaya on the kitchen counter. I’m just not around to comment on it.

In fact, I’m in a slumber right now. Mind you, it’s a mindful slumber. I’m alert to the sounds, smells and sights, though I’m not saying anything about them. Every experience, big and small, is going into the vault of my brain, to be pulled out for connections at some point in the future.

So why am I having such a hard time with the quietness of this period? I know this quiet is fine, it is a valid part of the experience called life, and yet, I also berate myself for giving in to it. Over the last few weeks, I have very little to show if someone were to ask me, what were you upto? And that feels bad, like I’m wasting time, not being productive, being a slacker. If I listen to the Zen Buddhists, however, I’m doing the right thing. Observing without judging. There are some thought-provoking talks on TED about the virtues of slowness and introverts, which turn on its head our obsession with busy-ness. We’re taking steps but are we moving?

It’s confusing. At such times, I turn to Nature, which has clearly figured out the way to survive and thrive over eons. And intrinsic to the way Nature makes things work, there is a time for fallowness. Inactivity that enables a return to fertility. A tough demand in our times, an indisputable principle of the universe. Best I heed it, and send guilt scampering.

(The irony of writing this post is not lost on me.)

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About Archana

I'm Indian and Canadian, and many other countries in between. I read comics every morning and believe the world could do with slowing down.
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