Legacies and Honeybees

I want to do something that may last beyond me.

I doubt my writing will.

Maybe it will, if I get much better at it than I am now.

But I think the world has moved on, and is moving faster.

I do not think many people alive today will “last” the way their creative ancestors did.

The world is so different now, and it will be so different.

There are so many voices saying so many things, and that will only grow.

We are no longer great marble statues, enduring through the ages.

At best, we’re a good meal: enjoyable, healthful, giving both pleasure and sustenance

Living on, if at all, in the growth and strength we give to those we nourish.

 

Perhaps I will plant some honeybee-friendly flowers on the edge of our yard,

Far from where my daughter likes to play,

Where their buzz is faint, and their stingers out of reach.

Perhaps I can give them some sustenance, some strength

So they can hold on as a species

Beekeepers struggle to sustain their numbers, often failing

Wild bees dwindle

The species skitters across the slippery slope to extinction

If the bees go, a million plants go with them

 

Perhaps I’ll do the same for butterflies.

But these flowers I’ll plant in the heart of our yard

So we can see their stingless beauty up close

Perhaps this means I’ll write less

But create more.

And I am at peace with that;

A life lived wholly before a screen

Is no life at all.

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Shoveling “Stuff” (Getting My Life in Order)



 

If this is the year when I get my “stuff” together, well, I still have a lot of “stuff” to shovel and only 5 1/2 months to shovel it.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve done a lot this year so far specifically regarding myself:

  • Earned my Ph.D.
  • Gone Vegan, lost 20 pounds, and fixed some recurring digestive issues
  • Restarted this blog and posted to it faithfully five days a week

But there is still a lot to do.

There is SO MUCH wrong with the world. I can’t go on Facebook right now because I’m just overwhelmed. I find myself ruminating about so many things that need help, and then I end up not taking care of things in my own life.

Being fully present in each moment is a “big” thing and one that probably takes a lot of time and mental practice to do. However, I can start by

  • Not having a bunch of windows open at once on my computer
  • Turning my laptop off when I’m not using it, so I’m not tempted to pick back up at whatever I left off, especially social media and web pages
  • Dictating text as much as possible, using my wireless rig, not seated at or facing the computer.
  • Getting away from my computer unless I’m doing something that specifically requires it
  • Reading more print books and fewer articles
  • (Do you get the idea that technology is a problem for me?)

I’ll also try to more fully devote my time and attention to my daughter, and try to remove things that distract her attention (like cartoons). I work full-time, and I want to really have time to have a real relationship with my daughter, one that isn’t mediated through the TV. I also want to reserve enough time to talk to my wife and give my full attention to the aforementioned conversations.

Even if I don’t get to do some of the things I want to do, I think I need to prioritize giving full attention to both my wife and my daughter.

Swimming, dancing, running more (especially with my daughter)
She is only 3 once, and I won’t waste my limited time with her preschool self being subdivided and not really “there.”

Doing more things that require my hands, not just my fingers on a keyboard.
Like cooking. I like trying out new things, and new recipes.
That would be a calming creative outlet for me, and would help take some of the load off Katherine, too.

Finally, I need to turn my attention to more spiritual pursuits. I’ve always been a churchgoing, active, professing Christian, but I’ve recently learned about some spiritual practices that have ancient roots that most American protestants (myself included) have forgotten.

Three of these that I know I want to try are praying the hours (praying specific prayers at certain times of the day, though perhaps less specifically that the Catholic Church does it), following the church calendar and observing its seasons, and reading through the Bible following the Common Lectionary. The lectionary is used by millions, if not hundreds of millions, of Christians across the globe. In following it, I would be aligning my study with a host of fellow believers worldwide.

I need more sleep, more time outside, and more exercise.

I’ll get there. I’ve still got 5 1/2 months to go.