Saturday, 28 December 2013

Finding and connecting

I have a flash drive – a memory stick.

On it is a huge archive.  All my published work in electronic files (important for new editions), every funeral I have taken since 2005 (runs into hundreds), all the minutes of our Parochial Church Council for the last few years, financial accounts and tax records, and loads of preaching, liturgical and retreat resources.  This archive is important to me and I draw on it constantly.

Today I needed my flash drive to archive a recent funeral. Uh-oh.  I lost it.

I looked in all the places I thought it might be, with no success.  I didn’t feel too worried – I knew I hadn’t taken it out anywhere, so unless it had inadvertently been put through the washing machine in a pocket it was bound to turn up eventually.  Even so it bothered me, because I wouldn’t like to be permanently parted from that thing.

When something bothers me, it does so in a quiet, niggling way.  Eventually the niggling escalates; turns up the volume until it gets my attention.  This happened.  I got to the “I’m going to find that blessed thing” frame of mind.

Then something happened that really made me think.

I consciously did something I then realized I have been unconsciously doing all my life.

I should explain that normally I rely on meticulously observed routine to maintain order in my life.  I always put things away where they belong, in the same place.  I file records.  I schedule events in my diary.  So usually I can put my hand on whatever I need right when I need it.  I maximize order and minimize chaos.  HOWEVER – in the last few weeks my life has been substantially untidied by a simple coincidence of events: I moved all my things into Komorebi at the same time as my husband took his annual Christmas fortnight’s leave.  Chaos.  During this time, when I had not yet established a Komorebi routine, but had moved my things into Komorebi while staying in the Badger's space to be companionable, my possessions in regular use kept being set down in temporary locations.  That’s how I lost the flash drive.  So it could have been:

  • In a pocket
  • In a bag
  • In the back sitting room
  • In the front sitting room
  • In the Badger’s lair
  • In the kitchen of the big house
  • In Komorebi

As I said, I looked everywhere; no joy.

But at the moment the niggling escalated to serious annoyance, this thing became conscious: I can feel everything I own.

I sat on the sofa and seriously concentrated my mind into the question, “Is the flash drive in this house?”

I felt the entire house with my internal antennae and I knew it was not there.  Not only could I not feel it there, but I could feel it not there.

Then I felt with my internal antennae along the question: “Where is it then?”

And I knew it was in Komorebi.  Knew it.  Knew if I searched diligently enough I would find it there. 

So I did, and I did.

And I realized with some force why it is that I cannot have many possessions: because they constantly keep in touch with me – every single one.  They are in energetic connection with me.  My energy travels along threads to them, and their energy has a claim on me.  Their “voices” claim my attention.

In a similar way, if I go into a large gathering, it quickly crashes my consciousness; I can’t stay long – because the vibrational chatter becomes overwhelming.


Daisyanon said...

That's very interesting. I don't feel that kind of connection with things, I rely on St Anthony when I lose things, but I do relate to how you maintain order.

I too rely on routines and method to maintain order and calm in my life. Also in my relationships, especially with my husband. We moved recently and I noticed how we immediately set about negotiating new routines to make our shared lives run smoothly asap in the new space.

What with the move (we are temporarily in a rental property so haven't unpacked properly) and the death of my father shortly afterwards, all just before Christmas, all my routines got disrupted.

Also, when I am under extreme stress I lose things and forget things. So the combination of the events and the stress meant a huge amount of chaos in my life for a while.

It made me realise how important my routines are for my mental health.

I once had a friend who appeared to have no routines and lived in chaos, she was always screaming at her husband (equally chaotic and absent minded). I used to wonder why they didn't just do things like agree a system for taking the rubbish out or coordinating their diaries...It exhausted me just listening to it all.

I don't think I am a naturally tidy person, I just hate disorder. If I let my stuff get too messy I literally cannot think straight till I have sorted it out.

When I hear people talk about how peaceful a convent or monastery or church is and how they wish they could find this peace in their ordinary lives I sometimes wonder if this peace is actually created by the orderliness of the community life, the common commitment to maintaining order in the daily routines of life so as to be able to keep their focus on God.

Sorry for the long ramble, these sorts of issues have been on my mind a lot recently.

Daisyanon said...

Oh, I forgot, have you looked into Dropbox? I keep all my stuff there as well as on external flash drives. So even if I lose the flash drives the stuff is all there in the 'cloud'.

There are other cloud storage/backup services as well. Just Google.

Sharmayne said...

How lovely to hear you say this, as it's something I have felt since I was young and I'm now 51. Having you say this out loud also helps me to understand why I perhaps am feeling so overwhelmed at present with all the "things" within our home. I have lots of sorting ahead, that has been put off for various reasons the past couple of years..... 2014 is the year for it to happen!

Pen Wilcock said...

Don't apologise, Daisy! That comment is very interesting and helpful. Yes, I pray too (to find things), and can rely on finding things when I ask in prayer. But this time I became aware of that extra dynamic as well as the prayer - which is why I didn't mention the prayer because I felt it would muddle the issue.
About the cloud - I am uneasy about clutter, as even the cloud storage is finite. When other people than myself are concerned (e.g. working on church paper or editing others' books), I always email it to myself, and as my email is web-based this keeps it safe and accessible.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Sharmayne - sorry, cross-posted with you. Yes, somewhere in this blog I've written about this before - can't find it now, but will post a link if I do - how everything I own is always talking and claims my attention; things have life and agendas!!

rebecca said...

I'm still trying to deal with the "stuff" (tangible) in my house....but I TOTALLY identify with that last paragraph. (This makes me think that if I can conquer the tangible clutter in my surrounding I will be in a much better "place"! I try. REALLY I do.)

Rapunzel said...

Exactly, exactly, exactly. Of course we are all, as the spiritual and the scientific folk both remind us, All One, and ALL CONNECTED.....but there is a large difference of texture between the way one is connected to 'all of existence' and the way one is connected to one's flash dirve or blue striped socks or one's mother's favorite sewing scissors. The things we claim also claim US.

I suppose this is why I live my home life almost entirely up in the loft happily with "my things", neat and orderly above the chaos of the Manimals things in all the house down below.
I love and claim the Manimal himself, but his 25 years of stuff in this house is far far beyond my ability to absorb and deal with. So I mostly don't.

I find things the same way you did. I sit and be quiet and ask myself, "If I were my lost packet of beading needles where would I be?" and then I know, and I look and there it is.

Life. A mystery and completely obvious, both at the same time.

Katrina Green said...

Interesting. I have the same problem with large gatherings, which is one of my reasons for not going to church much at the moment. I'm okay for half of it, but feel, by the time I've come home, that I've lost, rather than gained, from the experience and definitely not blessed anyone else either.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi friends :0)

Rebecca, yes; I know I still have some way to go before my possessions are calmed to the point of peace. I can think of a few things right now that should be on their way through the door.

Rapunzel; it's an interesting phenomenon, this living an a second marriage - loving, respecting, tolerating; not seeking to change the other person yet finding still a way to be oneself.

Katrina - I experience the same problem. x

Rapunzel said...

Aye. Interesting phenomenon indeed. If thirty years ago someone had told me there could be a situation more "interesting", blissful, foul, dismaying, dismal, delightful, puzzling than my first marriage I'd have never believed it.
Three decades on here we are,that Manimal and me with seven grown kids between us, their various spouses, our ex-spouses and their new spouses, and six grandkids with one on the way.
On top of that our widely differing personalities, a huge collection of preferences and whims and more allegedly brilliant ideas in our heads than we know what to do with.
I always assumed old people had such dull lives. HA! Hahahahahahaha!!!
It helps a great deal to stop by here and be reminded we're many of us in the same boat and that although it bobs around a bit It Is Not Sinking. Not by a long shot.

Pen Wilcock said...

Old people… Something I have noticed with old people - even older than us, I mean - is they ruin their lives with comfort. They cut their hair off, put in a gas/electric fire instead of a real one, move to an apartment with no garden, have everything delivered, then sit there wondering what to do and waiting fro their family to visit. Even older than that and they're moved into a nursing home where Health and Safety regs say they aren't even allowed to make themselves a cup of tea!
As I grow older I am finding myself powerfully compelled to withdraw from the world to a sharply increasing degree, and less and less motivated to do housework. So my idea is to be where LIFE is - trees, birds, light of all kinds. Then I can be reclusive and not lonely or bored. Sit and mumble to myself and comb my hair, occasionally get up and wander along to the standpipe to fill my kettle, make a stick fire for a cup of tea. :0)

Anonymous said...

Like Daisyanon I feel no connection to things. If I lose something I ask the Holy Spirit where it is and generally he tells me :-D

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) x Waving!

Hawthorne said...

Ah, my dear Pen, I too feel an increasing call/urge to withdrawal and silence. While it has been lovely to have my daughter home from uni, the double disruption of heaving her here AND all the fuss of Christmas has been really disturbing. I look forward to the new year, when I can get back to stillness, and to clearing out yet more clutter, both physically and mentally. Blessings to you x x x

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Waving to you my friend xx

Jenna said...

I know what you're talking about, Pen. I, too, have utilized that energetic connection to find things. I, too, manage a fair system for where things live. Some more of my things recently dropped their connection and are now abiding in the box on its way to the Goodwill. I'm always saying (to those who are without) that it's all about infrastructure and parceling out the real estate.

And don't get me in a crowded room for more than 15 minutes or so. I'm a goner. And crowded can mean people or it can mean a lot of higgledy-piggledy stuff that's in the process of finding new arrangements. Or even sounds.

Pen Wilcock said...

Interested that you describe the things on their way to Goodwill as having dropped their connection. I have noted this myself; once I've decided to part with something - even as big as selling a house - a kind of psychic amputation takes place and my soul develops an aversion to the item (even if it's beautiful or useful).