Getting Out of Your Head

A new year has arrived and I’ve been waiting for a spark of inspiration to launch me into 2019.  Quite frankly, its been hard.  Inspirational moments have been hard to come by.  I’ve felt like a nomad in a parched desert in search of a watering hole, only able to find bitter wells.

I find my spirit has soured, turned in on itself, and tricked me into seeing mirages when, in truth, there is — nothing.  I’ve felt a bit lost.

Mirages don’t feed the soul and anger only saps my spirit.  I realized it’s either get satisfied with being a sourpuss and a naysayer or take action to adjust my negative attitude.

So action I took and wandered over to my favorite Starbucks near Green Lake for a cup of caffeine-filled inspiration.  I no sooner walked through the door than I was confronted with a mesmerizing sight: 50 or so people quietly seated at individual tables saying nothing, single-mindedly staring at their phones and laptops.

  • No chatter
  • No dialogue
  • No noise whatsoever

It reminded of a church where the congregants were all in silent prayer.  It was a bit spooky and I couldn’t help but see how utterly disconnected everyone was from one another.  This particular form of human fellowship was a very solitary endeavor.  So I took a solitary seat and commenced a solitary search for a solitary insight into what was quite obviously more than my solitary question.

The same instant I sat down I inadvertently I looked out the window and saw a woman seated outside with her very frisky Bichon Frise.  This puppy was in a licking frenzy and had thoroughly invaded its owner’s privacy, much to her delight.  As I continued to watch, the dog began doing what looked like somersaults off her back.  It was a scene of wild, complete, loving engagement.

It stood in stark contrast to what was taking place inside.  I looked around and saw that no one else was witnessing the love fest that was only a glance away.  How terribly strange and how terribly sad.  All that was needed to join the party was simply to look out the window.

Ah, a moment of inspiration as I was stung by a blistering conviction.  I realized the dog was sending me a message!

Haven’t I been tripping over the present in search of the future?

  • How many such parties had I missed from being intoxicated by my screen?
  • How much life have I missed surveying only the landscape of my mind?
  • How my perspective is changed by simply looking out into the world!
  • How much fun it is to revel like the Bichon Frise in the life of another!

I later went for a refill and caught one last glimpse of my inspirers as they walked over to the lake.  It occurred to me that whatever else that woman might face that day, this playtime had put a permanent smile on her face.  It certainly had mine.  And all I did was look out the window.

I thought, what if I actually stopped each day to orient myself to the world around, to my physical environment?  How much joy might I inadvertently discover?

How much of my sourness was of my own making?  What if I were to listen to sounds around me rather than the words spoiling around in my brain?  Perhaps instead of staring into the abyss I should look up into the sky and catch a glimpse of the sun or the stars.  Maybe I ought to offer a “Good day” to the people I pass.

I may not be naturally hardwired like a Bichon Frise to embrace the world with love and affection, but I can damn well this year offer the world more love and affection than I did last year.

Thanks to a Bichon Frise, I can stop searching for inspiration.  I got exactly what I needed.

Just a thought…


Copyright © 2018 Patrick J. Moriarty. All Rights Reserved.

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3 thoughts on “Getting Out of Your Head”

  1. Ruthann Martin

    My brother, a theologian who owned a library of over 700 theilogical books which he had read, said at the end of his life, “I regret that I spent my life knowing ABOUT God, but did not take the time to know God.” Your blog reminded me of my brother’s epiphany.

  2. Kevin

    Thanks for this. Connecting in the land of phone-face and isolation a most important topic. Steinbeck addressed in Grapes of Wrath–the importance of the transformation of I to we. Sad the age old fears and red-flags are still being raised: David Brooks citing the word ‘socialism’ about four times in his short slag about the new Congress. Even the talking head some consider mild reaches back to the old fear flags. Too many people connecting just might be the undoing of the one percent, so they continue to pit like thinking people against each other. Liked you dog-gone appreciation, it brings to mind the need for decent people to disconnect and reconnect. Praise for your words.

  3. Shelley Hahn

    Wonderful, Pat! I often find that non-human creatures–whether Jada or our neighbor’s cat or the birds in our yard–can pull me out of my head and out of a funk. So glad you had this experience!

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