Movement

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Where do you feel alive? The most perfectly yourself?

For me it's not where, but when. I'm happiest, most perfectly myself when I'm moving.

When I stay still I set down roots quickly, so quickly it can be difficult to uproot myself and move on. It happens even within a day. I start doing something--reading a book, cleaning a section of the barn, doing laundry, watching The Good Wife--and then I can't seem to...stop.

If it's a sedentary thing it's the worst, because then I just keep sitting, my roots entwining with chair legs, entangling with couch cushions. The night before last I couldn't sleep so I read a book. A whole book. I saved the last few pages, because I wanted to look forward to picking it up again the next day, but I started it, and had to save myself from finishing it, in one sitting. (The Secret Life of Bees, plucked off the used book shelf at the library.)

It's better when it's some physical thing--something requiring movement. When I'm moving, working on something like folding laundry, or putting out a hay bale, or even washing dishes, it's easier to move from that one thing to the next thing. A more flexible set of roots. This is when I feel alive, happy, myself.

I live and work on a farm. A self-contained life that can become claustrophobic if I don't move beyond the borders of this land. At times I feel myself coming back together, pieces arranging themselves back into place, just as soon as I leave the driveway for a trip into town or a jog a mile down the road.

My favorite way to travel is to move. A few months catching buses, solo. A few months on bikes with my sister. It's why sailing draws me--not for the competition of racing or the thrill or the peace of gliding across the water, but for the movement. I like to move.


Sunset at the Grand Canyon, 2010, during those few months catching buses (and renting cars).

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© The Attic at Anderwood Maira Gall.