My desk is strewn with almost finished projects--a handsewn laptop sleeve for a friend that lacks only the fastener and a pocket, a three quarters-colored in postcard to mail to a friend in California, my summer's notebook full of preserve and mixer recipes open to the spread with the chai concentrate that I haven't tried yet. On the floor by my bed, on the bookshelf directly next to it, and on the Kindle that I'm charging at the moment: so many books, waiting to be read, digested, nutrition for the fertile growth of new thoughts, images, ideas. The mess in the corner of my bedroom is a collection of things to be thrown out, things to be donated, things to be posted on Craigslist, things to be given to friends. I could be outside wooing blue jays to eat peanuts from my hand or inside applying for jobs, hoping someone will look at my resume and let me be a semi-responsible adult. I could go for a walk or a run, do yoga, cook, bake, pick grapes, write that letter to that person who sent me an album that I can't stop listening to.
There are so many things to do, but none of these things motivate me to get out of bed in the morning.
In the grey, artificial twilight of blinds at half-mast, I could curl up under my duvet and die a daydreaming death before I would ever turn on the lights and go about the day for the sake of errands. They are not enough.
A quote that I once posted from Elisabeth Elliot and will do so again here:
August 17, 1948--Silence begins to drag on my soul. It is a kind of waiting which hears no voice, no footstep, see no sign. I feel that I could wait ten years, if it were not this waiting, this silence. I have spent the evening by a little pool which held the silent sky in its heart. There was no ripple, no stir. Lord, let me be that pool.
Too often the house is silent, or when it isn't, I don't know where to put myself when I am out of step with its synchrony.
But if you can wait it out, if you can survive the drag on your being, if you look directly at what ails you, you may learn something of yourself and of the motivation for existence.
I sometimes say that I'm not an ambitious person. Perhaps that is inaccurate (I don't think so), but another way of saying it might be: I am not driven by my own goals either for their sake or for my sake. There has to be something else.
There are times when I can't do it for myself. When it's too much to face the minutiae of everyday life without something toward which all of that effort is directed. A friend recently challenged me as to just why there is that lack, but that's a separate issue from what I'm getting at, in the end, which is that sometimes if you can't wake up for yourself, if you have too much life and not enough desire for it, then you might as well give it to other people, because they're worth waking up for.