Some days you just feel discombobulated. It’s one of those for me. Getting lost and turned around trying to find some place (even with GPS), angry and upset at the smallest things (like new scratches on my truck and no public showers in the whole state of NM due to COVID)—just a general feeling of being “off.” It doesn’t matter how much fun or beauty or excitement or newness you experience—not every day is peachy.
I look out the window of the upper story coffee shop to a rejuvenated “Railyard District” in Santa Fe, NM. Things have been made fresh, new, and hip; I wonder what it was like before? It’s open and spacious inside the coffee shop, with a small garden in the center—a pond, surrounded by green plants. Hipster paradise.
As humans, we know how to make things new—like old industrial districts. But we seldom know how to be made new. I am always trying to discover the new as a substitute to being made new. It’s much easier to seek the new than let yourself be made new. Experiencing the new is external; being made new is internal. The former relies on outward experience; the other on internal experience. Right now I have the outward, external newness (of places, sights, cities, landscapes, trails, etc), but not always accompanied by inward, internal newness (mentality, emotion, awareness, perspective, attitude, etc). I want both; but I am most in need of newness of the heart. No amount of external stimuli can calm inner darkness or restlessness (how many times must I learn this?). It has to start inside and work its way outside. Unfortunately (for me) it doesn’t really happen the other way around. I wish it did, because if so, most of my inner problems and failures and defects and shortcomings would have been solved by now. I usually do a pretty good job at taking care of “external me” (activity, hobbies, exercise, adventure, travel, etc), but not always at tending to “inner me” (especially on the move or out of my routine). I care a lot about my shit (possessions, travels and experiences, lifestyle, etc), but not always as much about my heart.
We have been conditioned (successfully I’d say) by a consumeristic capitalist society that markets to (or creates) our need for new and more and other and better, distracting us from addressing our inward need by appealing to our outward need (or by untruthfully claiming our inward needs will be meet by outward gain). I’m guilty of allowing myself to be shaped and directed by this machine.
Tend the garden; water the plants. Otherwise there will be no fruit or flower to pluck. I often just want the fruit or flower without tending to the garden or watering its plants.
If you would like to receive these weekly reflections via email, subscribe to my blog. Otherwise, follow me on Instagram (nielsen_mt), or Facebook (facebook.com/negreiner).