I just finished re-reading Marion Milner's book, A Life of One's Own. She wrote it in response to Virginia Woolf's book, A Room of One's Own.
Experimenting with perceiving through journaling and other modalities, she finds ways to probe and delve into her unconscious, new territory at the time she was writing.
She began the book with a search for happiness, and in an updated comment from 1986, she ends with these words of William Blake:
Man was made for joy
And when this we rightly
Thro' the world we safely
I think we in the modern world are being taught to believe we should be "happy" every moment but we don't even know what that word means. Advertising tells us the latest computer, phone or shoes will make us happy, a trip to the Caribbean perhaps.
The commercial need to sell us "things" and experiences doesn't honor that "wherever we go, there we are", and that expectation may lead to disappointment.
I've been giving myself time to sense, to sit or walk and receive an object, tree, another, myself.
I was standing in a coffee shop recently waiting for my latte, just looking around at the whole operation and what is required to bring coffee, me, and a place to drink with other people together.
I was overwhelmed with appreciation for this moment, a moment that will never exist again, this group of people, this movement, sharing, scent.
It's magical to pause and appreciate this world we share. And now I pause and look out at trees that are reaching in my window, reaching in enough that a raccoon entered our house Thursday night. He climbed up on the deck and walked right in because the fog had not yet arrived, and I saw no reason to close the doors to a deck that is seemingly private as it is so high.
I now know raccoons live in trees as do skunks. I know more about the creatures with whom I share my yard, and I know more about myself too. How do I receive what shares a space wider than what I think of as I?
The waves are here.
How do I meet them?
Do I float over or dive under? My intention is to better honor the waves of what I define as joy and woe, and through that, "thro' the world safely go"?
May this be so.