Reporting from the Experiment (Contrast for Clarity, Happy Impulse vs Irrepressible Urge, Direction)

Dear Fellow People. It’s been a while and I’m back with a brief Report from the Experiment.

So, those of you who read my post entitled  The Gentle Donkey, must have grasped that my initial impulse mainly consisted in doing nothing.  I rested, I napped, I did nothing,  I entered the world of idleness, of Nothing at All.

People who found out about my move (ie, leaving my job) excitedly asked me “so what’s your plan now?” to which I answered “there is no plan! That’s the point exactly!”, which either let them down or instilled in them a sort of hysterical response of kindly stifled panic. Except for the ones who took my same exact plunge. They didn’t ask if I had a plan. They smiled at me with camaraderie, a celebratory smile of respect and reassurance. “You did it too!” the smile said, “good for you!”. And except for the Eager Souls, of course, the ones thirsty for examples of Freedom.

So, after the long initial period of rest, a chirpy impulse induced me to buy a ticket to Hometown where, utterly content, I would delight in the sheer contemplation of a bunch of luminous young humans (one of them my own 20-year old offspring) who reside there and whom I utterly adore. The mere thought of them brushes my heart in velvet.

Well, I did meet up with the lovely bunch and reveled in their spontaneous glow but soon realized they live in what is quite a non-nutritious place for me. The humus of the land does not nourish my seeds, so to say. Yes, dear reader, it is not conducive to the anticipated bubbly flow.

Did contrast take me off course?

I wouldn’t say so. But I will confess it stirred up a feeling of frustration in me. No wonder. One of the meanings of frustration (I often look up the meaning of the words I choose, dear reader, just to make sure I picked the right one) is: “the prevention of the progress, success, or fulfillment of something”. Well, hell yes – residing in what I perceived as a non-nourishing environment had apparently blocked the cheerful flow of my Experiment, what I thought was going to be a sparkling chain of impulses.

Yet, in the light of this experiment, ie, succeeding moves triggered by impulse, the case was that a spontaneous urge to be there and get things done did exist. I was supposed to be there and nowhere else. Which brought me to the realization that these impulses of mine are of (at least) two kinds:

Happy Impulse & Irrepressible Urge.

Happy impulse is bubbly, it dances, it is light. It springs into pink bloom like a flower in the desert. This is the impulse that triggered the purchase of the plane ticket to Hometown, dwelling place of the Beautiful Lovelies.

Once I got to Hometown I was immediately washed by Irrepressible Urge: to rub my flat’s forgotten and heavily soiled balcony, throw away piles of unused, unread papers, pimp up a boring lampshade, paint two walls in deep turquoise green, wrap another one in wallpaper, embellish and clean, empty and trim my little abode in Place of Birth. Irrepressible Urge is unequivocal and direct, cannot be restrained and just happens through you.  It moves you, uses you as its tool.  It is not always sparkling, may be dead serious as a matter of fact. Like a child engrossed in something they’re doing. There is no thought involved, it is inevitable action gushing out.

Both Happy Impulse and Irrepressible Urge are free from Doubt. So I guess they are both perfect, they both count as ok on this new Way.

Which brings me to Direction. Every way has its direction. You are going somewhere, towards Something.  So there, my Direction in this Experiment is Total Surrender to my ever Unfolding Nature.  The embracing of my Truth, the feeling totally Comfortable in the Now-expressing-me, the direction is total Trust in me as the Creative, impromptu Weaver of this Canvas that is called my Life.

the gentle donkey.

There’s a little donkey, and he lives inside of me.

Through the use of seemingly caring and very reasonable arguments, I prodded the little guy to perform a task he had no particular liking for, cost him fair amounts of energy, silently stripped him of his innate joy and felt quite insubstantial to him. For years he paid heed to my explanations, at first lightheartedly, then half-heartedly, but still reckoning that, given my insistence, there had to be something to it.

From time to time I took him on vacation and gave him

total freedom.

I also provided him with a very nice abode, surrounded him with lovely objects, gave him delicious wholesome foods and immersed him in a medley of beautiful music. From time to time I let him go to take a dance class or a yoga class or a facepainting class or a woodworking class or a photography class – anything that might interest him and keep him happy. Little bonbons, if you like.

There came a time though when the donkey started posing himself some questions. I could hear them very well, these queries of his, and we started having conversations about them; about Gilded Cages, the meaning of Enthusiasm, Natural Inclinations, Fun and Play, conversations about Faith, Impulse, a Friendly Universe that won’t turn us into sad, solitary and penniless derelicts were we to follow our happy impulses …

Yet, in spite of our deep and enlightening conversations, I kept saying to my cute little burro “come on mate, just for a little while, until we figure things out, let’s go, let’s do it, let’s carry a smile, work with gusto just a little more, just a little more, come on!”.

Until the donkey, realizing that my stubbornness had gone way out of control, decided to help me, by coming to a perfectly sovereign, gracefully poised and complete STOP.

There he was, in the middle of the road, sitting, staring at me, and smiling.

(in the distance, I saw a party of ponies beckoning “hey! here! this way! we’re here!”)

No longer able to perform the work I had been able to fulfill with his patient aid, I decided to follow his confident lead and sat down in the middle of the road with him.

A couple of weeks have passed. We have already moved to the side of the road and are chillaxing on the grass. Sleeping, eating, resting, eating, resting, drinking tea, basking in the sun, smiling in the rain, listening to music, listening to the birds, looking at the flowers and the plants until time stops, resting, weaving tapestries… Yes, we rest a lot. There is a whole collection of patterns and attitudes that we repeated again and again and again that are still swivelling and making us dizzy. Therefore, we rest. Flagrantly, shamelessly.

I feel very happy. Now starts my most beautiful experiment, the one which most interests and excites me: do only what I feel like doing, only that which I’m truly attracted to. I did it before (remember? vacation) but never in a financial security void. I want to see if we were born, we men and women, to be servile donkeys or donkeys who are free to go out and frolic with the ponies. As I write, my personal donkey smiles and kicks his hind legs happily into the air.

Yes, I had a few moments of the following:  agitation, consternation, distress; anxiety, worry, angst – the mind totally panics when it smells the funk of the void – but they were always accompanied by the perky tickles of the threads of life, calling me, calling us. Now a certain jitteriness persists, especially in the dark, vast stillness of the night, but my donkey and I know it’s not the heebie-jeebies . It’s only static, electricity that has gathered within us. We are now learning to conduct the current.

 

the first blog post.

Hello fellow People. I decided to start this blog because I want to share and keep track, together with you, of my Experiment.

In French, Experience and Experiment are designated with the same word, “expérience” and it is in this spirit that I want you to understand my word, Experiment, here.  Life is Experience after all and what is experience other than fierce and froliky Experimentation.

So the scene is the following. I’m in my mid-forties. I have a 20 year-old son who’s taking good care of himself and for whom I have set aside a small amount of money to help him, if necessary, during his University studies.  I am finishing to pay off the mortgage for a small flat I bought when I was 26, situated in my home town.  I am renting a flat in the city where I worked and have been living for the past 3 years which I sporadically share with 2 lovely people (who thus help me lower the above-mentioned rent), I have some savings  (nothing radical, just something that allows me not to panic and gives me some leeway for the next 3 or 4 months).

Two weeks ago I burned out.   And I decided not to go to work again.

What I decided to do instead is the thing I really want to do, the one thing that truly interests and intrigues me in this Lifetime now, the Curiosity that tickles me the most, and that is

to see what happens when we follow our real and authentic,

genuine and actual, moment-to-moment,

big and small,

glorious and banal

impulses

Not our judicious, common-sense, prudent and logical cerebral thinking, not our fears, not some plan, but our truest, most immaculate, in the moment prods, in the moment itches.

Do we live? Do we die?    This we shall discover.

It is quite late, my dear fellow Humans and I will go to sleep now.

But do stay tuned, if you so desire, for the story of the Gentle Donkey, elucidations on why this blog is called The Weaver and, of course, for the periodic accounts of this Experiment.

Ciao.