I have been slow all day– I am trying to allow myself time to stop without guilt, to allow this feeling of weariness, this reminder that sometimes it is OK to do less.
What is this weariness? Yes, I am recouping from a flu and yes, I have many multiple projects going at once, yes I have a long to-do and commitments, but is not physical, no, it is this familiar feeling of saudade.
Saudade is a unique Portuguese word that has no immediate translation in English. Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.
Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again… It can be described as an emptiness and the individual feels this absence… In fact, one can have ‘saudades’ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.
I look at my to-do lists and I sigh. I walk to the kitchen to make myself some coffee and it is an overwhelming feat today.
I have a precious day at home alone to catch up, but I really just want to sit. To sit in this emotion, hang out with my parrot, and feel nostalgia. To go inward, to regain some energy to move forward. To embrace missing as a gift/reminder to rest.
I tried though- went back at my computer, preparing to write a letter, and as I was searching online for something specific, I came across an old blog post I wrote in 2013. And I knew, this old post was a reminder again to stop today, to allow the feeling of saudade.
Look who is saying hello in that old post! How precious to see my dog Tobey (who passed away Dec 23, 2015), walking in the forest.
A walk in the forest August 31, 2013.
A GIFT. So I share this here, pack my bags for tomorrow and STOP for the day- for sometimes it is OK to do less.
“About five years ago I saw a mockingbird make a straight vertical descent from the roof gutter of a four-story building. It was an act as careless and spontaneous as the curl of a stem or the kindling of a star.
The mockingbird took a single step into the air and dropped. His wings were still folded against his sides as though he were singing from a limb and not falling, accelerating thirty-two feet per second per second, through empty air. Just a breath before he would have been dashed to the ground, he unfurled his wings with exact, deliberate care, revealing the broad bars of white, spread his elegant, white-banded tail, and so floated onto the grass. I just rounded a corner when his insouciant step caught my eye; there was no one else in sight. The fact of his free fall was like the old philosophical conundrum about the tree that falls in the forest. The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.“
– Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek