Friday, July 23, 2010

Step by Step

My legs move a lot.

The thought occurred to me as I retraced my steps through the kitchen back to my bedroom. I had just walked the half dozen or so steps from bedroom to kitchen, on my way to walk through the main room, out the door to my car. But, I had forgotten my keys.

My mind wandered during the short distance, as it often does. It wondered, while traversing the short distance, "Just how many steps does it take to move through a day?"

To get out the door to my car--after all the other little journeys I take in the morning: to the sink; to the bathroom; to the shower; back; to the closet; to the bathroom; to the bedroom; to the kitchen; to retrieve the stack of papers and books from the shelf--it takes 23 steps. I'm not doing anything during those 23 steps. I'm just getting to where it is that I plan to do something (get into the car, in this example).

The times when I make it all the way to the car before realizing that I have left my car keys in the bedroom, it is 69 steps--to, back and the return--from the point of intention, of leaving my bedroom to get to the car, to the point of actually doing what it is that I intended to do.

This happens all day long. Not necessarily the forgetting and starting again. But the traversing of short and longer distances between where I am and where I need to be to engage in any desired task. In fact, I imagine that a greater portion of my time in life is spent doing just that. Getting from where I am to where i want to be to do what I want to do.

So that leaves me thinking. About presence of being, of intentionality and of contentment in the moments that are. It is not only the inspiring moment of desire, nor the attainment of destination, that should capture my attention. It is more often the getting there that occupies my time. Indeed, the activity, the action actually involved between where I've been and where I'm going in life, might be the better part of my life. Why not enjoy it? Why not be present in it?

Noticing the process itself. The gradual progress being made. How fascinating is the movement of now. Step by step.

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