This past week, I swung from feeling like the man pulling the bull to the bull being pulled by the man. I wanted to fill my plate with work, and nothing came through – until it did. And then, of course, I immediately dug my hooves into the ground and struggled with priorities.
I’ve got them straight now. I’ve found the secret! It goes like this: 1) Sleep. 2) Everything else.
It’s not exactly early as I type out these words, but it’s not too late, either. Dogs are howling intermittently. Tuc tucs are zipping to and from somewhere.
I should know by now that when I don’t sleep enough, or well enough, everything goes sideways. The lack of sleep has been due to sore tummies and anxiety, in equal measures.
But now! Now I am awake. A bit too awake, in fact.
That picture of the man and the bull was taken just outside my window. Did you buy a bull? I asked Jose. Yes, he answered, but he doesn’t seem to want to follow me.
It took a bit of time and a lot of patience, but he eventually did follow Jose, all the way home.
I came across this quote by Jorge Luis Borges recently:
“Time is the substance I am made of.
Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river;
it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger;
it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”
As much as we try to constrain it into digits, phones, clocks, time really is outside of our control. I love seeing time through the eyes of my children. Last night as I was getting my 5-year old to sleep, we got to talking about age. Somehow she knew my age, but then she said, “Were you 80 tomorrow?” Which made me think of the river/water, tiger/fire metaphors.
In 4 decades I will be 80. In the meantime, I’ll keep threading the past and the future into the present. At the mercy of life itself; respite; moonlight; and how can the immensity of my days fit into this space? Moments, then, of men and bulls, children and sleep, flashes of light across the sky.