Every other Sunday is my day off; the one day twice monthly when I’m free from work and kid obligations. I generally, truth be told, spend the day sewing – because that is what I love. But I try not to do stuff I don’t love – pay bills, clean bathrooms, sort recycling. I try to let the day be free.
Today was one of those Sundays. I slept in (until 8:00!), I walked to town for coffee, I sat in the café and worked a crossword on my phone, I made ponchos out of old cashmere sweaters, I read my tarot cards, I walked to town to pick up dinner. I spent the majority of the day in silence. Yes, I listened to podcasts while I sewed, but I didn’t really talk to anyone except the cat (and that consisted of “I wuv you, little kitty, do you know that? I WUV you”).
My life is full, my life is excellent. There’s lots of noise, which I like. Friends, teaching, working at the shop, kids, all noisy. Twice a month I get quiet. Which I also like.
I’ve been doing this thing lately at the end of the barre class I teach. It’s the moment when the students lay on the floor with their eyes closed, a mini-meditation. I tell them to take a deep breath and release it. Take another big breath and release it. Take a huge breath, the biggest breath of the day. Breathe in everything you’re carrying, everything that’s worrying you. Hold it in. Then release that breath, release all that worry. Let it fall into the floor. You can pick it up again in a minute, I promise. And now find your heart. Without all that other noise, those worries badgering you for attention, what does your heart say? How are you, really?
On these rare Sundays I have a day to listen to my heart. And often that’s not so comfortable for me. My heart is pretty sad, much of the time. It’s been a rough few years for this old heart, so there’s that. But there’s all the sadness that it’s held for so long. Loneliness, fear, grief going back decades. That is what my heart carries. And it can’t seem to put it down. Listening to that sad rhythm, to that melancholy beat, touching what’s painful, that’s not easy. But, in the end, it’s probably a good idea. Because how else am I going to heal? How else am I going to free myself of my circumstances up to this point? How else am I going to walk forward, heart open and brave?
I’m a conundrum. A social, chatty, connective person who is both terrified of being alone and craves it. I’m excellent company, there’s no doubt. On these quiet Sundays, that’s what I’ve got. In the end, that’s all I can depend on. Okay, that and the kitty.