Sunday, September 28, 2008

signs of us

In stillness, I follow my breath and scan how my body feels. Just noticing changes it. Lying on my back, the gravity tugs me closer to the earth, heavy, solid.

And there is a pulsing in my sinus passage. I've never been aware of my heart beat there, so I stay with it and consider the word sinus -- 'sign us.'

Where is there a sign of us, of me, in the world? Where have I left my mark? Is it in the playgrounds I passed on the way here? Or in my child who I just dropped off for a 150 mile bike ride? What is the print, ultimately, that I want to make in my passage through this life?

There is so much time devoted in daily chores that remove all signs of us: washing and folding laundry to tuck in closed drawers; scrubbing dishes to stack on cabinet shelves; wiping stains from the kitchen counter; shredding junk mail for recycling...I seem to spend more time erasing of signs of us, racing through my days never noticing my breath, my passage.

Then there is the garbage. I try to picture the 1,460 pounds of trash I produce each year and wonder if this will be the biggest mark I'll make in the world.

So what else is it I want to create? This is the question I've been asking myself for the past five years, growing restless now as I sit without an answer. Sometimes I think that breathing is enough -- that it's all that is.

And then a voice from the back of my head asks again, "What is the breadth of what I want to create?" Is it enough to leave the world better than I found it, or should there be a sign of us - of me - of us?

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