Sometimes it just all flows
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Sometimes I go for a run and it feels like I have been sitting on the couch for months, even if just the week before I was trekking in the Andes and riding 80-100 miles a week. But that one run, the legs feel heavy, it’s hard to get my rhythm, and I feel like a baby moose – all clumsy and stumbly and not on my game. And, other mornings, I head out for a run and the air is cool, and the sun shines through the trees, and I feel like I could run for days. Those days, even though I am not fast, my body feels in synch with my mind, my body flowing into the moment, a smile on my face because it all just feels so good.
Lately, life has been like that, it just flows. And, I just can’t keep from smiling and laughing at the sheer fun this journey is.
It’s laughing at the unicyclist in the park who trail rides and juggles. He reminds me to not take my rides so seriously.
It’s going to see a live salsa band on the Highline and watching all the people dancing, even in the sweaty humid evening.
It’s going to a bar, solo, just to have a drink and write. That evening, I got distracted by the couple sitting at the other end of my table and their talks of travel to Vietnam. Of course I jumped in – and then I spent the next 4 or 5 hours with Jamie, her fiancé Steven, and their friend Denise. We spent hours drinking mezcal cocktails, talking life in Brooklyn, education, life. Then we moved onto another bar to sit outside and play bocce, where I met a delightful man who also joined our party, who was also pretty awesome to talk to. 4 new friends! yay me.
Then, the next night, being in the theater district with my friend – both of us hungover (see description of previous night) and just needing some Mexican food.We stopped at one place that had an outside table – two tables pushed together, making it a table for 4, but the not-so-friendly, snooty waiter told us two that we could not sit there – as it was a table for 4. Two men, who had just walked up, jumped in and said – we’ll be their 4th – at which point the waiter, begrudgingly, gave us the table. The four of us had a lovely dinner, weaving in and out of conversation with each other.
I read something Elizabeth Gilbert, the author, wrote recently – and one piece really struck me: ““I think sometimes we forget that we are merely temporary visitors to earth, temporary occupants of these bodies. We take our lives perhaps too seriously sometimes when we forget our ultimate destination (whether it’s 90 years or 9 years, after all, eventually we will all be leaving this party). When we forget our essential transience — when we think that we’re going to be here forever — all of our choices become so weighty, so significant, so intimidating…but we won’t be here forever. So maybe it doesn’t really matter as much as we think it matters? Maybe you can be a bit lighter about your choices, that being the case?”
My reaction, when I read it, wasn’t about where I want to go and do right now (though, of course, I do have that list!) – but it made me think about all the fun there is to be had, right here, right now. And about how, when I am too serious (which is easy for me to do), then life doesn’t flow at all. Though I am the daughter of hippies, I am loath to get sucked in thinking about energy and all the woo-woo-shit* (I was a science major because I am drawn to the logic and straightforwardness of it all). But, I am the daughter of hippies – and so, I am learning to feel that energy that flows all around me and surrender myself to it, to enter into that flow.
Because, when it all flows, it’s pretty fantastic.
*I don’t actually think it’s woo-woo shit. And all you friends who’ve been talking to me about this stuff — I know you’re all right. And thank you.