Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Goal Behind it All

Being free is still what I want.

Blog post #6 - In which I get a taste of freedom...

When I laid out my goals a month and a half ago, they were all (ironically) about doing things. My journey from 'human doing' to 'human being' was defined by 'doing'.

But I realized recently that everything I'm doing and aiming for are just symptoms of what I'm really looking for. A goal that, until a week and a half ago, was unspoken and unformed.

And then I bought a train ticket on a whim, and took a two hour ride along the river down to the city. I met a friend I hadn't seen in years. I put away my phone. I refused to put any item or any fear between myself and that day.

It was amazing. Vibrant and alive and thought-provoking and life-changing and poignant. I have no pictures of it except one – a picture of my latte with it's perfect drinkable fern. Somehow, it seemed unimportant enough that I wouldn't lose the moment by taking a picture. It was meant to be a memento of the day.

I don't need it.

I have the day in my head. I wrote it down later, thinking back over the textures and emotions of the day, recalling the feral joy of being open and without expectations.

I haven't felt anything like that since I was a teenager, staring up at the stars late at night and feeling utterly overwhelmed by the expanse of sky and milky way and universe.

Then I 'grew up' and let responsibility and other people's opinions matter more than my own sense of wonder.

By being open, with no expectations, distractions, or motives, I got it back.  Just for a little while, I was open to what was in front of me. I chose to set aside the lenses of cameras and expectations and fears and responsibilities.

Awareness is (they say) what minimalism is about. Get rid of the distractions and what you have left is life. Pure. Vibrant. The way Van Gogh saw sunflowers and night skies.

The way I finally saw a valuable friendship and Van Gogh and Rodin and Central Park for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

I understand. More now than when I started, I understand why I am on this path and why I am working toward this life of less.

There is so much more than expectations and responsibilities and things and filters and lenses. Brush all that away and you have the undiluted, awe-inspiring rawness of living.

And a day of it – just that single day – was worth more than any object I could ever own.

There are still steps to take, still doing to be done and things to get rid of.  But the goal is clearer than it's been in a long time, and it is worth it.

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