Burrowing time


When your head is down and you're doing the work, and you must, if work is to get done, allot great swaths of head-down time, you will start to think you're going nuts.

I'm not talking abut the hard-work times when you throw yourself into something to make it: the writing of the five-minute, 20-slide Ignite presentation, or the mad throwing of paint onto the canvas, or the endless and endlessly exhausting (but invigorating) hammering out of physical details during the mounting of a play (mount that sucka!) or what have you.

I'm talking about the in-between, unplugged, unmoored time Between Big Goals, where things are stewing and churning and sorting themselves out. The wandering in the desert years.

These are the times that try Type-A souls. The time between "clicks," or getting It, or synthesis, for you Hegelian types. The mooshy, squooshy, ambiguous times where your only answer to "What's new?" is "I dunno...not much...", delivered with a rictus of a smile and a fervent wish for either the floor to open up beneath you or the Star Trek transporter to kick in and for the love of all that's holy, get you the h-e-double-hockey-sticks outta there.

This is the part where four-year-old you is tempted to dig through the soft soil to reassure yourself the seed is, indeed, sprouting roots, or the seven-year-old you is tempted to pick at the scab or the 16-to-33-year-old you (assuming you're female) is tempted to ask where this relationship is going, anyway.

It's going. It's stitching itself together. It's growing and happening and doing all the stuff it's supposed to, so leave it be and do something else. There are these things called books, and there is this practice I've heard tell of called "reading for pleasure" and this other practice of sleeping in between regular sleep times called napping and...well, lots of stuff. A unicorn, too, I think.

Sometimes you work-work, and sometimes there is burrowing. I will not lie to you, I am one of those who forgets, every damned time, about the burrowing, and fills time that could be spent "reading" or "napping" or "riding" my "unicorn" with worrying and gnashing of teeth and endless reorganization of files.

Please. Do as I say, not as I do: let your sub- and unconscious selves do their heavy lifting when it's their turn.

And yes, this message comes at you from someone who is, I believe, coming out of burrowing and is being written by what I believe is a thin slant of light from the other side of what I can only characterize as the world's longest, blackest tunnel.

Stay with me. Better yet, stay with you.

Stay the course...


Image by AndyRob via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.