Find X.

simplicity clear

Is it all really this simple?

Maybe not in the engineering of a road grade or the building of a bridge or the designing of a rocket or the researching of a cure, but I do believe it might be true regarding most things in life.  Find x.  Here it is.  Doink.

When I am in that perfect place in the moment — when life just feels so great, life is simple.  It is not complicated.  It is not orchestrated.  It isn’t planned.  It is simply . . . fun.  It is spontaneous.  And timeless.  It’s like having a terrific laugh with your best friend. . . the kind when you have to hold on to each other to keep standing.  It’s like that hilarious inside joke with your sweetheart that only the two of you understand.  You give each other the look, and you both just crack up.

It is like knowingly dodging some complicated pitfall in the day that would create a crazy amount of stress.  It is stepping aside and letting the trouble molecules move on to different territory.  Embracing simplicity.  Cultivating mindfulness.  Finding humor.  Allowing love to light.  It just feels so great.  Life is good.toaster oven

“The simplest solutions are often the cleverest . . . They are also usually wrong.”  I am not so sure about this.  Perhaps this is true when you bomb your algebra final in a pre-req that you are doomed to repeat until a passing grade has been achieved.  But when it comes to life and love and all things in between and around, I am thinking that over-thinking and over-projecting can complicate in ways that aren’t always the best.  At least this is what life has repeatedly taught me.  Sometimes it is best to see the truth and point to the obvious and just say it.  Just do it.  Be impetuous.  Be bold.  Exercise courage in making a decision.  Point to without apology.  Without apology.

beauty-in-simplicityThere is immense beauty in simplicity.  I have fallen victim to over-complicating that which neither requested nor required my sometimes insanely-high levels of energy.  Wow.  Sometimes it is good to let things grow or to let them go.  But to try to manage both at the same time?  This takes me away from center — when it would be better to just Find x.

So beautifully simple: a2 + b2 = c2  The Pythagorean Theorem possibly has the most proofs of any mathematical theorem.  It can even be generalized to include higher-dimensional spaces . . . the Pythagorean proof being one of rearrangement.  Were I grading the answer to this math problem, I would give extra credit for originality in higher-dimensional thinking.  For thinking outside the box.  For admitting, “I have no idea what Pythagoras was thinking when he created this theorem.  And I certainly have no idea what the answer to this problem is.”  It takes a lot of courage to be creative when having absolutely no idea how to solve a problem.

When I cultivate an awareness of What’s Going On, I can feel my perceptions rearranging themselves as neatly as that of Pythagoras’ four identical right triangles.  It all makes sense when you go into rearrangement mode.  There is a neatness to it — a beautiful usefulness that precludes any single answer.  Life opens up to a multitude of possibilities.  There are a lot of places for x to light.

Find x.  It’s right here all around me in a state of constant rearrangement– dependent on so many binding factors: appreciation, beauty, selflessness, creativity, positivity, identity. . . Is it really all this simple?  Yes.


Good advice from Nicky-Jack

Quote from Source Unknown:

“Name: Nicky-Jack Marshall (Aged 96)

Subject: Knitting

Comment: Well firstly I like to add flour to my palms as this gives a great grip on the needles. Also it’s best to keep your cat away from the wool!”

I dearly wish I could remember from where I got this excerpt so I could credit the source. [If it is you, please, let me know, and I will re-post with your reference.]  This is knitting advice from Nicky-Jack Marshall.  She provides us with tips to get a great grip on knitting needles.

And Nicky-Jack helps us to guard against prowling felines who mess up your knitting.  We all know what kind of cat she is talking about.  As you are gently jerking away at the ball of yarn at your feet, the cat pounces, and YOW!  There go those talons into your thin-skinned ankle that is the backdrop for that dancing, fuzzy string of yarn.  Nicky-Jack knows what to do to keep your Zen while knitting.  This woman is one to whom we might want to listen.

I love this woman, and I have never even met her.  In an age where people buybuybuy the best and the most beautiful supplies and tools in order to prepare to take on a new interest or hobby, Nicky-Jack just gets out her bin of flour and gets a great grip on those needles.  Cheap, clean, available.  She gives the cat a toss outside, and sits to knit.  So beautiful.toaster oven

The simplicity of this is what I want my life to reflect.  To hell with the fancy needles, the row counters, the tips for the needles to keep errant stitches from bustin’ a move off your needles in transit. Like Nicky-Jack would say: just flour up those mitts and commence to knittin’.

There is so much wisdom in simplicity.  I have dyed fleece with chemical- and natural-dyes, made my own mordants, hunted lichen in the woods, saved onion skins, spun wool, dog, rabbit, and goat.  I have plied skeins of yarn, niddy-noddied them, balanced them, and knitted with them.  I have felted wool and spun cotton.  I have made a silk cap out of a worm’s cocoon.  All of this cool stuff while Nicky-Jack was producing the goods.

I do believe that my productivity sometimes gets sidetracked by process and the hunt for technique, variety, nuance, and research.  I have experimented with dye baths of lichen and with Kool-Aid.  And I have done quite a bit of knitting.  But if I transfer her wisdom to other areas of my life, I feel pretty convicted.

Like Nicky-Jack’s needles, it’s time to dust up my chi and get a grip on that which is important to me.  On that which I hope to prioritize because it makes me happy on the inside and on the outside.  No one wants to be the teacup that looks happy on the outside but unhappy on the inside.   Dust up my my mandolin, my laptop’s keyboard, my fiddle, my running shoes, my piano, my sometimes-overwhelming research project . . . and toss that cat of distraction that is such a convenient excuse that disallows creativity and flow.