Hanging out with new friends at a camp is fun, but it isn’t long before I get restless. It’s all in my mind. I know. But now that I have spent some quality time alone, I am aware of how much energy I put into dealing with the imagined expectations of others. Am I talking enough? Did I say too much? And so on. The expectations that I project on others bump and bruise the way I see the world. Expectations are not things. They don’t have an existence on their own. (I tell myself).
I am sure that the other person does have expectations of some kind. We all do. Expectations are impossible to avoid. I was surprised how all those expectations rose up in my mind, while I was with the others. Didn’t really focus on them. Just aware. Like the tumbling of a dryer in the background, expectations swirling around. I notice because I have put so much time into avoiding them, generally. Now I am on the road, answering only to myself. I have a chance to take on the tangle and discover which expectations belong to me.
It seems almost too obvious to say, but this road trip is a journey inward as well as outward. I relate it to the latest scientific descriptions of reality. Life is a particle when it’s looked at and a wave when it’s left alone. When I am operating with the bits and pieces of this world, getting from here to there, dealing with this and that … it’s all about particles … things and straight lines – everything in its time and place.
When I am doing nothing, going nowhere, I experience only waves. There’s nothing at the top and bottom of a wave. Like the swing of a pendulum, the sweep of a deep breath or the steady beating of my heart. Waves come and go, always in motion. And for there to be any awareness of motion, there must be stillness, every now and then.
The freedom of life on the road is that when the ‘particles’ get to be too much, we can jump back into the ‘waves’ with renewed appreciation.
A moment spent doing absolutely nothing at all is like the zero in mathematics – a point around which everything can spread out and make sense. This is how nothing is something.
I am feeling that pulse now. I have had enough of the Grey Days, the fog that shrouds the Oregon coast. Soaking everything in sight. Time to get back into the sun by moving East. That wasn’t my plan. But that’s the thing about expectations. They can change at the drop of a hat … or at the sign of rain.
The edge of the ocean is the place to be though, when the sun is out. All the elements in one place. On Grey Days, for which the Oregon coast is well-known, the light and the lines are all mashed together and there is nothing to notice. Having had some sunny days, I know what I am missing. Tomorrow, I expect to be in Washington.
Sitting still. Doing nothing. Remembering the light.