I came up the stairs at about 8:00 a.m. from where I’d been working to find two daughters in the living room. “Go back to bed,” said the middle child.
“Back to bed?” I said. “I’m working.”
“So am I,” said youngest child. “I have homework.”
“Homework, over spring break?” I asked her.
“I didn’t finish it last week. Too many distractions at my table,” she said, sighing heavily. “Like people,” she added with a dramatic flair.
“Don’t I know it,” I said, reflecting on all the distractions before me today (last day of Spring Break, husband home recovering from yesterday’s back surgery which required an additional day and one-half off of work when I’ve worked so little over the last few months due to other requirements of the human condition–oh, and the surgery went very well, if it had not, I would not be kvetching so).
I told my eldest two daughters the other day that I’ve been feeling like the monk who curses the frogs to stop singing so he can pray, only to find, in the silence, that the sounds of the frogs and the wind in the trees, and all the other noise around is part of God’s voice, and in silencing them, he silenced his prayer, as well. (Correct me if I’m wrong on that, I couldn’t find my source and couldn’t find it online in a quick google.) In any event, I’m trying to live in the distractions rather than waiting for them to cease, as I don’t see the cease of distraction coming until I cease to breathe, and even then, I haven’t a clue what distractions will arise.
That said, I’m ready for an hour or two where all I’m doing is one thing, all I’m doing is paying attention to what is before me. I learned that with my father’s illness; I relearned it yesterday, as I sat waiting to hear the surgery was over and all was well and I thought I could use that time to “work.” Sometimes you do get to do one thing, but it better be something very important. The rest of the time, all you can do is let the frogs sing.