There’s a Tibetan Buddhist practice called Lojong that, to oversimplify it, is designed to help you get your head straight. It begins with experiencing things as they are. When you’re happy, you appreciate it and wish for others to have happiness as well. If you’re having pain, you sit with the pain. The point is to learn to experience objective reality without suffering. Things sneak up on you, though. It can be a lot to process. So right now, I need a little breathing room.
For the past three months I’ve either been planning to move, moving, or getting settled in after the move. At no point have I had the chance to sit with that. There’s been no opportunity for me to process it all. As Katie pointed out in her blog post yesterday, culture shock is catching up to us. We’re suddenly not in Finland, where we’ve lived happily for the past 7 years. Neither of us have lived in Delaware before, so there’s a lot that’s new. The United States has changed drastically in the years that we’ve been away. We’re eating unfamiliar food. Our routines need to be rebuilt. There are a thousand little details that pop up and need to be dealt with every day. It’s overwhelming.
I Need Breathing Room
Yesterday’s post not withstanding, I’ve been running my business on autopilot since May. I set up a lot of projects to keep myself busy, because that’s what I needed to get through this. Now that I have the chance to stop, reflect, and process. I need to reevaluate things. The purpose of work is no longer to anchor me through a physically and emotionally trying period. Now I have to deal with the reality of mind and body, and let the work return to being what it needs to be.
Breathing Room Media is going forward, but it will happen when it happens. Pieces will be ready when they’re ready. I’m not sure I can write about Finland yet. The kind of minimalism I am able to practice here, what I need to practice here, is different from my practice there. Certainly the defiance I need to express in consumer-driven, materialistic, late-stage capitalism America is not the same as in the Democratic Socialist Nordics. What I considered to be inner peace when I was looking out onto a lake is a separate entity from what I’m seeking when the night before last there was a brutal murder-suicide six blocks from here.
Like I said, a lot to process.
I’ve temporarily shuttered the Patreon, and pulled the newsletter, zine, and podcast pages back behind the curtain. I’m still working on them, but I need to get my head around what exactly it is I want to accomplish, and what I want to say, now that I’m in this strange new world. I’m going to keep blogging, though. I just need a moment to get my feet under me, intellectually and emotionally. Stay tuned.