One of my favorite authors, the late Octavia Butler , wrote a piece that was entirely about pushing through toward a goal. In her piece entitled “Furor Scribendi”, she talks about the positive obsession writers need to have toward their writing craft…that the pursuit of what they want should happen even in the absence of inspiration, time, encouragement, basically, in spite of everything.
That’s kind of how I see all of us working our way through 2009, moving forward, sometimes imperceptibly, in the face of that entire media onslaught, all that bad-world-sliding-into-worse news and completely involved in our own personal dramas and predicaments. We must continue on but perhaps it doesn’t have to be quite as bad as we think it will be.
Lot’s of things have and will go wrong right now, it’s a fact but lots of stuff will still works too. Not to be a Pollyanna but managing expectations (there’s that word managing again!) do make a difference.
Back in 1982, recently referenced as the last time economic conditions were this distressing, I was a student, just learning to live on my own wits. My parents could no longer fund my education and I had worked most of the summer and fall to make enough to return to my rainy little college town for Winter Semester.
I lived with three other dysfunctional girls in a tiny thin-walled two-bedroom apartment on next to no money. Fun for us was trying to see how many free donuts we could score on Sunday mornings from the apartment manager’s office (we’d take turns going down to her office and say we were getting donuts for our other roommates. Our take some weekends was 16 donuts! We’d live, sugar-stupored on those free donuts for the rest of the week). Another pastime was taking long walks, going on bike rides, reading books at the library, or going to see the occasional super–cheap movie on campus. Once in a while we’d watch television on a 13-inch hand-me-down black and white TV with broken rabbit ears. Our only personal electronics were our cheesy little clock radios.
Life was spare and small but looking back on it not as bad as one might think. There were always things to do and I can say I was never actually bored. Possibility existed everywhere and I though I grew weary of my food choices (generic cheerios, Turkey legs, top ramen, mac ‘n cheese, and aging bargain basement vegetables), I was not bored by life. In fact life seemed to beckon me and indeed I felt closer to my authentic self. Not long after this time (with other roommates and in a different low-end apartment) I took up the study of numerology. I credit my uncluttered life for that gift…for without the time and space wrested from the pursuit of acquisition and keen consuming, I never would have had the pleasure of learning to my own drummer.
All this isn’t to say we should be happy to sink so low financially that we’ll all have to live ascetic lives. But turning away from indulgence can shed light on certain abundances not predictably self-evident in times of excess.
Life and numerology works on the principle of cycles and right now we’re in a major cycle of adjustment. This week, take care to adjust yourself accordingly.