What we’re made for.

I don’t think we’re meant to sit on chairs all day.

I don’t think we’re meant for these screens and these lights and the noise that comes from all of it.  Sometimes it’s so much, we’re told too much. We know too much. We see it all, but we don’t see what’s right in front of us.

Beside us.

I’ve been working a lot lately. It’s a busy time for me and I feel incredibly blessed or lucky or whatever it is that helps get us to the places we’re going. My head is spinning with to-do lists that get me through the day and a few steps closer to some of my goals. My house is a mess, my desk unrecognizable as a piece of furniture  and most days I add more to that list than I check off.

I’m happy and exhausted and it’s December and I haven’t even thought about Christmas.

I love Christmas.

But I’m a human. And as a human I want things. I don’t know where it started or how to stop it, but don’t try to argue with me, I know it’s true for you too. If it’s not a physical luxury, it is the luxury of time. If it’s not time, we want more love or more quiet, more food to put on the table, more money to buy us nice things, more children to teach, more land to cultivate, more music to hear and mores space for dancing.

I try not to think about the things I want. I try to focus on what I have while I run frantically from one appointment I set up for myself to the next.

And then I wonder what the hell I’m doing when the only thing I really want is to sit under the tree by the dam and watch the water freeze over.

I was tired today and disappointed in myself because I have let slip the one thing I promised I wouldn’t let slip when I moved back here–my connection to the sky.

So I stood up from my twelve-hour computer perch this afternoon, oblivious to the fact that I’d had enough until I looked out the window at the sun turning the sky pink and realized I hadn’t looked outside since it made its first appearance this morning.

Suddenly I was struck with the urge to go chase that sunset down, to catch it and hold it and marvel at it before it sunk below the horizon, as if it were the last sunset on earth.

I don’t know what got into me. For two weeks I’ve been on an agenda that had nothing to do with the sun.

Perhaps I was lonesome for it.

So I pulled on my muck boots and my winter coat, grabbed my camera and raced down the steps and up to the hill.

The sunset out here can be breathtaking when it feels like it. And the beauty is that it doesn’t last long. If you watch closely, turning your head to take it all in, you will see it move and swell and change like a painting, colors splashed across the sky in hues that don’t exist anywhere else in the world but up above.

Sometimes I try to be so many things that I feel like I can’t do my best at anything.

Sometimes I think I might do it on purpose.

But the sun is the sun and it was made to move across the sky.

And I don’t know much about much tonight, but I know I was not made to sit in chairs all day.

17 thoughts on “What we’re made for.

  1. This is fabulous. What I’ve learned is only I can make my priorities! And, every moment is lost if I don’t grab it or I ignore it. Beautiful photos and writing! Thanks for taking that moment and sharing it with us.

  2. So true. I love watching the sun set here — I face northwest over the Hudson River north of NYC. In the morning, if I am awake at exactly the right moment, I see all the windows of the houses on the western shore light up like jewels as they reflect the rising sun. It’s absolute magic.

    Thanks for these gorgeous pix and a powerful reminder of what matters!

  3. Jess, Once again you are reading my mind.
    As I listen to your music and think of the folks I think should hear it, Garrison Keiler for example and much bigger names…Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls or the Dixie Chicks. I also think what will happen to Jess if fame sweeps her off her feet? Will she still take pictures, blog and write all manner of things? Share the stories of the life of her marriage, naughty pets and recipes?
    Above all will she still have the adventures that make all her creativity so authentic?
    Now darnit I will also have to wonder if youve been in touch with the sky….

  4. Beautiful, beautiful photos, and wonderful thoughts. What did you have to do that took you 12 hours at a computer?? That sounds pretty awful.

  5. Pingback: Sunday morning * « oregonshar

  6. Wow, each one of those photos is beautiful! It’s hard to not take the beauty around us for granted when we are overwhelmed with life. Thank you for leaving your chair and sharing your sky with us all.

  7. I agree. We are not made for desk jobs and computers all the time. I love a good camping trip to decompress. But since I moved from Idaho to Nebraska, the closest place for camping is a day long drive (The Black Hills.) To much for the constant weekend camping I grew up with. I don’t count these ‘camping parks’ as true camping.

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