Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Internal Congestion

Writing takes me out of myself. Out of my internal congestion, you might say.
Now, those of you who know me would probably agree that it’s a good thing for me to get out of myself. I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘into’ myself, per-se, it’s just that I do live ‘within’ myself. That would be a very comfortable place for some people to live, but not necessarily for me. Kind of scary in there sometimes, kind of confusing at other times. I might even say ‘exasperating’. But, nevertheless, writing takes me out of myself.
And that’s all I’m going to say about me.

Reminds me of an old joke, or it might have been a scene from Seinfeld, I can’t remember. But, a man and a woman are sitting together having a ‘conversation’. The man is talking about himself incessantly, while the woman is just listening. After going on and on about himself, oblivious to the feelings of the woman, for what seemed, to her, like an eternity, he finally looks at the woman and says, “Well that’s enough about me. What do YOU think about me?”

It’s good to have something that takes us out of ourselves. Some people have a particular hobby, avocation, interest, or practice that gets them away from the, otherwise, pressing concerns of the day, or of their lives. Some people have several, and that’s great, but others have none, and seem to be confined by their own lack of interest in anything but, maybe, television. Television seems to take us out of ourselves, to be sure, but studies show that too much TV actually causes stress and anxiety, rather than providing the much-needed escape, or relief, we so often seek. The illusion is that it makes us think of it as escape, when it’s really not. Of course, it also depends on the kind of programming we choose to participate in.
So how much TV is too much TV? I don’t know. I can only answer that for myself, and I’ve already said that I’m not going to say anything more about myself. I don’t want to end up being in that ‘conversation’ joke.

Getting out of ourselves is increasingly important in these trying, and uncertain, times. Different people have different options, but getting outdoors is an option most of us have, and it is, perhaps, the most renewing of all the choices we might have available to us. Almost doesn’t matter what the outdoor activity is, even just a walk, feeling the sunshine, the wind, or the rain. Seeing the sky, the blue sky of daylight, the deep sky, the boundless expanse of space, the clouds crawling quietly across eternity like foam adrift on an open sea. Or the night sky, the dark sky, pierced by a trillion stars, the Milky Way, the Moon, maybe a Comet streaking solo through the Celestial congestion way out there. Just to sit, and look, and see, and imagine, to reach outside ourselves. To touch a place beyond our own routine. It’s always good.
And it always helps.

So, let me just say one thing about myself.
I got out of myself with these few minutes of writing.
Now I’m going outside to take just a little bit of my own advice.