The other day, I left my house to drive to my first eye exam in many years. I typed the ophthalmologist’s office address into my phone GPS and 20 minute later, Google Maps informed me I’d “reached my destination,” although, in fact, I had not because I was facing an empty grass field I called the office and tried to explain where I was.
“Do you think I am close?” I asked. “No” she said.
The woman on the phone gave me another address to try, I entered it, then my GPS konked out altogether. Suddenly I remembered something Toshi Silver said in one of her books, that her friend “felt her way around Paris” without using a map. I was reminded that a tool is just a tool and sometimes tools break. Could I find the doctor’s office without my GPS?
I wasn’t sure but it seemed a strange coincidence that on my way to obtaining a tool (eyeglasses) to “see more clearly,” I would get lost.
I decided to look at the street signs and start reading the address numbers until my GPS starting working again.
It reminded me of a creative project I’m working on now and how sometimes I have to feel my way around in the creative dark because my mind always wants to organize and see the big picture. It wants to know everything IMMEDIATELY.
My mind constantly needs to be reminded that it’s only in the service of my spirit, my soul, the greater creative impulse. My mind is not in charge, it’s there to serve the thing that wants to be born and what wants to be born is usually (read: always) BIGGER than what my mind can initially grasp.
But, time and time again, I look to my “tool” (my mind, my reason) for answers. Only when it doesn’t have them, do I remember to surrender, to tune in, to feel my way and let my reason be in service.
I’ve also often wondered what would happen if I stopped wearing my glasses or contact lenses. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to safely drive a car(!) and I wouldn’t be able to recognize friends’ faces further than 20 feet away. Not good, right?
However, one thing I have enjoyed when I don’t have my glasses on first thing in the morning is the sound of my children’s voices. I hear them differently: They seem higher, sweeter, kinder, full of purity. Maybe it’s just that I’m really hearing them. I also see colors differently – they are vibrant and beautifully blurred –everything in my world is like a Monet painting.
In addition, because I can’t see very far, I’m not constantly assessing what needs to be done, evaluating my surroundings (a dirty dish, crumbs to sweep up). And because I’m feeling slightly vulnerable about walking around, I proceed slowly, humbly, more fully in my body. I feel my heart beat. I feel good.
So in losing my tool to see clearly, I, in fact, see more clearly in other ways.
Can you relate? If so, what are some ways that losing your go-to tools (even just temporarily) help you see what you didn’t before?
Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!