Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Little Clay Pots

          I've been working on writing something about being comfortable for over two weeks now.  I say 'working on' but that means I've just been filling my time with other things that have kept my head in the clouds and away from my notebook.  So maybe 'working on' is the wrong term but I'm certainly working on it now.
          Maybe I couldn't bring myself to finish what I started because I didn't know how; because I used the word 'comfortable' so much and I wanted to go back and figure out how to change that (I didn't).  The reason that best fits is I've been too comfortable– too comfortable settling into a daily routine (a routine that hasn't involved writing); too comfortable house-sitting for a few days, enjoying the silence that replaced the constant noise of living with five other people; too comfortable enjoying the company of a friend who came home to visit for a few weeks who also enjoys donuts and the great outdoors as much as I do; perhaps too comfortable being freshly unemployed with no sign of having a job for the rest of 2016.  Yes, life has been damn good lately which might be the cause of this lack of motivation to write about things I want to say.  There isn't much too say when life is just... so damn good.

          But this can't last, nothing does.  My friend is leaving, there's some crappy weather heading my way that is about to throw off my daily routine, and I'm back home living with five other people instead of sitting in solitide by myself (I still love you, Mom, Dad, Meg, Ava, and Gunnar!).  So here I am, like a plant pulled from a flower pot, readjusting, getting ready to leave home in about a month, with newfound motivation to write something about this whole experience we all acknowledge as 'living' however we choose to define it.
          A plant can flourish just fine in a pot on a windowsill.  There's enough dirt and sunshine without the unpredictable outdoor elements.  But all potted plants reach an end to their growth.  There's only so much soil before the plant becomes root-bound and slowly cuts itself off from the dirt where all the good stuff is.  The death of the potted plant is inevitable without the promise of rebirth in the same soil.  Transplanting into a garden outdoors can be risky business.  Those roots are susceptible to damage and need extra care over the first week or so of their new home.  But the life of that plant merges with a whole new environment.  The roots will grow strong with infinite space to meander through ensuring, at least, a perennial return.  Perhaps the biggest difference between the potted plant and the garden plant is the potted requires the daily care of the watering can, maybe even the right mix of nutrients while the transplanted specimen, once established, can thrive off the outdoor elements with little to no help from the gardener and become one with the environment.

          I was planning on including the original text I had been 'working on' somewhere around here but I don't want to steer anyone away from this page with an unnecessarily long rambling of things I want to say.  I can certainly summarize my other words for you in case my little flower pot metaphor didn't do the trick for you:
          Comfort means something different to every person.  Hot or cold, hard or soft.  It's good to be comfortable with who we are, what we do, where we live.  But when we develope the idea that comfort means always being entertained and the senses stimulated, comfort tends to become a carrot on a string mere feet in front of us while we're stuck on a treadmill.  The more we have, the more we need and we always need the newest and biggest versions: cars, phones, TVs, homes.  We can never fully see how comfortable be can be with less until we understand the satisfaction of things never lasts.  We all suffocate ourselves in our own little flower pots because we're safe and change is tough.  We think a good clay pot is everything but, less is more, let those roots grow into the dirt.

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