This morning I'm attending to a task I've considered for a couple months on and off and pretty much fixated on (without doing anything other than worry about it) for the last week. No, I'm not installing a new sewer line or even replacing the rotted window sill in the dining room. Those would be tasks from which anyone might shrink. I've just been avoiding the pile of papers on my desk. I even wrote about it this week after dealing with maybe a page and a half of stuff there. That post made it sound like I had gotten deep into the task. Writing has that effect. And yet the stack was still there this morning.
Before it seems like I've dispatched all the papers and reached self-actualization, the stack is diminished but I remain far down Maslow's hierarchy. I have read seven articles that friends have sent to me — I am blessed and cursed with friends who want me to read the good stuff they find — but have done nothing with the three essays in need of revision. So it goes. I'm not about completing things so much as giving it the old college try, whatever the hell that means.
As I finished the last of the articles which was about newspapers and kept mentioning the god-awful excuse for a human in the White House, I realized I have been reading a lot and have pretty much stopped watching television. It hasn't been a conscious decision, but I haven't missed the television and its focus on whatever is happening right now. With regard to current events, I couldn't care much less.
I suppose soon enough I'll wade back into all that. I'll resubscribe to the Post or the Times, tune into some show or other either on TV, and otherwise go back into the orange maggot's world. The piles of paper will grow. I'll stop doing the things around the house that feel good and keep things from sliding into disrepair. The books on the shelf will go unread.
It's about balance. I've gone way out on the beam, pulling it down, watching the other pan, empty and light as air, fly up and away. Down here, reading, writing, and making my way through the pile of papers, I'm in the smaller world of neighbors, family, and myself. Other stuff goes on, but the big news of my day is that I've read those articles to reduce the pile and I might revise one those lingering essay drafts.
First though, after over an hour this morning at the desk, I'm going out to see what the blue sky and gentle breeze have to say to me. I doubt they will mention politics, the news, or even remind me of the pile of papers still awaiting my attention. They will have other things to tell me if I'm willing to really listen.