What’s next? Everything.

Being in the ‘place between’ stories can get (too?) comfortable.

Place between stories

Place between stories

After several years of discomfort and kicking the constant quest for meaning and recognition via one’s profession, something settled. My life led me gently back to basics, and fulfilment came from simply doing things that came naturally. Walking, gardening, drawing and painting, writing, cooking, tending the home and relationships. That was all going on when I was focused on my work as well, but it was my work which established my rhythms, and now it is the day itself, the earth’s cycles, and my body.

The long periods of deep uninterrupted focus needed to progress on my book resulted in new insights and excitement as previously unrelated areas began to reach out across ideological space and contact each other. The book is also an excavation of sorts, and I am undertsanding better where I’ve arrived and how I got here.

In the meantime, I joined a neighborhood traffic action group and worked with them for 2 years. Our successes led to the town council wanting to work with us, and now several of us are involved with plans to take what we’ve learned to other villages. Added to our weekly meetings are also planning meetings with the municipality.

Then one of the people I was working with on that project is involved in a regional version of Let’s Gro, an alternative festival held in Groningen. I went to the first meeting for ‘Let’s Win'(short for Winsum, a largish town close by) and suddenly found myself in a group where for once, I wasn’t the only one interested in transition, and alternative forms of art and community building. It was just amazing, inspiring, and the dynamic of the meeting captured my imagination, highlighted my research on my book, and also let me see what my contribution could be as far as facilitating more creative approaches in a number of areas.

So, oops, I have another project to be committed to. All of a sudden, I can’t just take off on my Pieterpad walks, but have to schedule them between ….meetings! My life is suddenly full of meetings! And more responsibility! Is this truly the direction I wanted to move in?

One aspect of the place between is that while you are waiting for what’s next, the possibilities seem endless. I guess one reluctance is that when things start to take form again, I have to make choices, and all of a sudden things get narrowed down again.

So I’m thinking about these things now. It seems that this social engagement is a natural outgrowth of having pulled back out of society for several years. I now feel called to share some of the things that have become clear. And I definitely want to collaborate. So these needs are being filled by the path my life is taking at present. But I am reluctant to let go of the long easy (well,not always) days of doing what I want when I want, and having time to really listen and reflect.

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4 thoughts on “What’s next? Everything.

  1. sounds like you are in an interesting space. intriguing how things take shape when there is room enough for things to contract/grow. No doubt scheduling will create different unexpected forms which couldn’t have been made without the time just gone. Still enjoying your writing and reflections. Thanks.

    • Kay I do appreciate you taking time to comment. This blog is relatively new compared to artcalling, and has just a handful of followers, so I never know if what I write here will even be read.
      Yes, it is an interesting space to be in, there is definitely movement. And of course I will keep on with the meetings- the collaboration, the focus on new alternatives, these were all the things I was fantasising about when I was not engaged very much anywhere. 🙂

  2. Hi Sarah, it’s wonderful to catch up with the changes arising in your world. I imagine you carrying all you’ve embodied, from that time of gently following the seasons, your own inclinations and rhythms, into this new phase of community activity, meetings and responsibilities, and finding with time that it helps you approach doing and collaboration in a new spirit. I’m reminded of the story in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, about the Portuguese transition initiative where more got achieved when the participants committed to doing just what they loved, when they felt moved to do it. Enjoy the new phase! Cx

    • Thanks Cat. Good insight about hopefully approaching the practical side a bit more positively. It is wonderful to spend time in the world of ideas and future visions, but at some point the urge to hands-on effectiveness in implementing the new insights becomes irresistible. I seem to have reached that point of saturation.
      I loved that bit in TMBWOHKiP. Quoted it several times to our local traffic group. We burned out anyway and are now with just the 3 of us. But it is still a good cautionary tale.

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