buddha picture


Today is such a day. I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on anything for more than five minutes. It is beautiful outside and because it is the middle of the summer and a Friday the campus where I work is empty. The wonderful thing about empty space is silence. We have almost no silent moments here in Portland, Oregon. Every second of our lives is filled with sounds of traffic, leaf-blowers, construction, and people noise. Even if you close all the windows, your apartment is still filled with the refrigerator noise, air-conditioner gurgling, and the neighborhood sounds that are seeping through the walls. I forgot what silence feels like. In addition to all these external sounds, there are sounds in your brain — the racing thoughts that take you places you are unable to reach in the physical world — daydreaming. Right now, for example, my brain is shaping a vision of my best friend’s backyard, a glass of wine, people I love, and a lively conversation (although sitting in silence would also be nice). The definition of the best friend should include the silent moments where silence is not hanging uncomfortably but is a part of the internal dialog that only besties can keep up. When you reach that point, you know you are home and are excepted for exactly who you are, including the moments when you have nothing to say.

This summer I also miss hiking. I have not done much of it this year. You get busy, have things to finish, tired, and yes, you got it — unmotivated. It is not good in a long run as your soul withers a little each time you don’t bring yourself into the woods or on the mountain top. The most I did this summer is hike Forest Park — the biggest park in Portland with 30 miles of nature. The trailhead is located about 10 minutes from my house, and the stretch I like to do is never crowded. I know it by heart now: every turn, every path, and every tree are familiar. But back to today… Making plans for the evening after work and before the weekend: what to eat, what to drink, where to go. I hope my unmotivation does not trickle into time after work. I hope I walk my piglet, decompress, and have a glass of wine. You can never make definite plans for anything as gods tend to laugh in your face when you do. Nothing is permanent or definite. That’s what you learn as you get older. Plans are elusive. Go with a flow is the king.



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