an anchor in the snow

unpolished thoughts 1/13/2019

Twenty minutes to write this morning.

My head is mostly clear right now. No particular ideas flashing. No particular key words.

It’s a nice feeling actually. No intention yet, but also no goals.

No striving.

I just finished my morning meditation. As I sat I noticed my right elbow sagging. I infused it with enough energy to slightly lift. Then it was possible to breathe more easily through the right side of my chest, especially up near the collar bone.

My attention wandered many times as usual. So I acknowledged my wish for better focus, and gave myself appreciation for  my efforts to meet the challenge of not getting distracted.

It snowed last night and there was very little sound outside the window to drift into my thinking. I wondered if this made distraction easier, because there was less there to hook into.

I had my breath, but as I think back now, I never found my heartbeat – usually my other anchor in meditation.


Anchors are useful because even when we consciously desire the new and the unknown, we need a point of reference or we can  easily get lost.

Yesterday, I taught a class where some of the students understood very little of what was being asked of them. I had to reorient  myself and move in their direction to keep them safe.

This is often how it is. Because if we are in community, we need a common anchor. Otherwise someone gets left behind.


My words aren’t flowing today, so I write slowly, pausing often.

I cherish the momentum of following the words themselves, confident that they will take me to a meaningful place. But I also know that momentum alone is not enough to make meaning. If I move too fast, I’m not nurturing the possibility for the blooming of insights which can tell me how the movement relates to my anchor.

Without respecting my body’s sleepy rhythm this morning, I would simply get lost.


Our conversations can also develop this way, especially those that begin without an agenda. Like when we meet for coffee.

The quality of the air outside, the traffic on the way to the café, today’s headlines – they are all there waiting to be commented upon, but may just as easily disappear if they don’t turn out to be what anchors us.

But then, perhaps, one of is in need and reveals our troubles to the other. An anchor is found and the dialogue moves, still freely, but now anchored in mutual concern.

The sounds of the café still play their role, as does the caffeine, but we know now why we are here together, what we are talking about. We might say anything at all, but if we lose ourselves, we will regroup around our anchor.


This is why it can be challenging to spend too much time alone.

I know quite well how to drift without an anchor for an entire day. It’s possible to do so even amidst flurries of activity.

Doing and meaning are not the same thing.

Today is Sunday, and the streets outside are blanketed with snow. There is less movement and less sound. It’s not possible for today to be the same as yesterday.

Except that I know why I’m here. That’s my anchor.


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