Peace Be With You

Is it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to write?

At first, I blamed it on WP’s new editor.  Then I thought perhaps it was just that my life is rather dull now that I am working from home and rarely have to leave the house for anything.

Then I realized that the real reason is hidden in that last sentence, but with all the excuses removed.

“… it was just that my life is rather dull.”

That is entirely my own fault and I don’t blame anyone but myself.  In my early 20s (and maybe earlier), I deliberately set out to lead a very quiet, very peaceful, almost somnambulant life. 

Why would I do that, you ask?

A cynic might say, “Because it is easy.”

But that is wrong. 

It is very difficult to lead a peaceful life.  Nothing in modern life is geared towards the quiet, the peaceful, the serene. Everything is stressful.  Everything is aggravating.  Everything is irritating.

From the unceasing commercials we are bombarded with, to the traffic we must endure, the crowds we cannot avoid (even in these COVID times), to the constant din of noise that surrounds us, to the ugliness everywhere we look … there is simply not much serenity to be found. 

We must create it through artificial means.

We do it by reading.  We paint.  We write.  We compose or play or listen to music.  We invent.

All of which has led me to the conclusion that serenity is an artificial construct.  It was created by the human mind as a kind of ephemeral reward for doing the things we cannot avoid doing.  It is a bit of cheese we find in the maze of chaos we are sniffing and trembling our way through.

Serenity cannot be found by setting sail, or setting off afoot, or working towards or striving for. 

It is something we must deliberately carry with us.

We cannot find it, because it is not naturally occurring in this world.

We must will it into existence.

24 comments

  1. I find it difficult to still my mind at the best of times, so the anxiety produced by these last few months hasn’t made it easier. I find serenity in nature, especially in the fall when the colours are changing, but also in doing artistic things as well. I’m lucky that I write about whatever ridiculous thing pops into my head–there’s always so much material haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I envy you, being able to write all of the wonderful things you write with the instantaneous inspirations that come to you. Ideas do not come easy to me. I always feel like I’m waiting for a loaf of bread to finish baking … and then discovering I didn’t turn on the oven. Or mix the ingredients. Or anything, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When we visited Lindisfarne, the beautiful island off the Northumbrian coast, I was fascinated by the fact that St. Cuthbert felt he needed solitude and retreated to a remote island to build a hermitage. Now even today Lindisfarne is very peaceful, imagine how peaceful it was in the seventh century – but not peaceful enough for Cuthbert!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m surprised I’ve never heard of St. Cuthbert. He definitely sounds like the sort of saint I would have chosen as my patron saint. I shall have to read more about him. I can definitely relate to his lifestyle and outlook. There have been so many times in the past ten years or so I have dreamed of running away to some remote part of England or Ireland or Scotland. However, I don’t know enough about how to survive in remote areas, and so I’m pretty sure after a mere few months my carbon footprint would be reduced to zero. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. There is no inner peace in sight,
    By seeking it outside oneself.
    If I read that right, should I give up the fight,
    Turn the page, and put my life back on the shelf?
    Maybe yes, maybe no — perhaps it depends on whether
    We think we’re all alone — or all in this together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Mr. Muse! I think inner peace is always within our reach (barring extreme situations, illnesses, etc.). We just have to disabuse ourselves of the notion that it comes from outside of us. I have known people that lived in lavish surroundings and environments that seemed like heaven on earth … and yet they were the most miserable people I’ve ever met. Conversely, I’ve met people who lived in indigence and chaos, and yet they were serene and happy. Perhaps the take-away of that limited sample size is that none of us know the formula for happiness and peace … or even that there IS a formula. So you are absolutely right … we are all in this together. And we should all strive (fight) to find our own happiness. Happiness cannot be imposed upon us from outside. (These are all my humble opinions. I am in no way an expert in these matters.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your reply to my previous comment, which probably didn’t come off as well as it might have, because I put it in the form of a poem instead of simply expressing myself. In any case, I think we’re in basic agreement here, and next time I’ll try not to get too ‘fancy.’

        Like

        • It came off perfectly, Mr. Muse. 🙂 I probably answered it in a way that was probably not as good as I would have liked. I even enjoyed the poetic form you wrote it in. I am always envious of poets and their skill with words and form. Probably because I am not a poet at all and have struggled mightily with the few lousy poems I have written. Everything I write always turns into prose whether I want it to or not. So I am most appreciative and admiring of your response. 🙂

          Like

  4. When I read your first sentence, I got all excited. Yes! It IS getting harder to write! But I will have to ponder your thoughts on serenity. I am a little confused: has the pursuit of serenity harmed your writing? I think I will just continue to blamed the WordPress editor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! I hadn’t thought about it quite that way, but you may be right. In my efforts to rid myself of sources of anxiety and frustration, I may have gone too far. Writing is one of the great sources of anxiety and frustration in my life. Sooooo ….

      I’m with you. Let’s blame it on the WP editor!

      Liked by 1 person

I Love Comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s