I’ve been working hard, preparing materials for some upcoming academic classes. I love being immersed in the world of ideas, but I need to remember not to stay there–it’s not where I want to live.
A wise guide once said to me–“the mind’s job is to carry out the vision of the heart.” Feeding my heart is what keeps the vision and inspiration flowing, my mind can only carry out directions. When I spend too much time there (immersed in my thoughts), I begin to forget about the world’s beauty and my larger vision, and at some point, fear even starts to creep in. My mind is happy (and I am happy) when I give it a big task to do, keeping it well occupied. But when it’s time for a break or when the project is over, I have to remember that it’s not my mind that holds the wisdom. The larger vision and inspiration lie somewhere else entirely.
I think the same thing happens for everyone. We have an amazing trip to Yosemite or the Canadian Rockies (ah yes, I used to live 30 minutes from the Western entrance to Glacier Park), and we remember our hearts again. We remember the depths that are continually speaking to us. Then we go back to “real” life and over time we forget this depth.
The British poet Kathleen Raine once said, “Strangest of all is the ease with which the vision is lost, consciousness contracts, we forget over and over again, until recollection is stirred by some icon of that beauty. Then we remember and wonder why we ever forgot.”
May we all find ways to remember.