• Austen Hayes

EXPLORING: LIFE WITHOUT TV

"Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it".

~ Dee Hock

Maybe it's the time of my life, maybe it's the way the world is turning, maybe it's a yearning for more that is intangible...understanding, serenity, simplicity, humility. Making space for all there is to do takes time, and time is limited. Not just in numbers of years ahead, but in hours and minutes - fewer and fewer with too much that occupies and steals the day.

I found a blog authored by a young woman, Tiffany Francis. Ms. Francis writes about nature and food and farm life, books and the outdoors, caterpillars and birds. She describes what goes into preparation for a pot of soup to warm a bitter winter day in England, or her method for ridding herself of old clothing as she searches for "new" apparel in a second-hand shop. What she writes about is life - a full, rich life. Rich in depth, rich in dedication, rich in curiosity and follow-through. She's young, perhaps mid-twenties, with a spirit inhabited by an old-soul.

I don't know how she does all she does but it occurred to me, "...she must not spend time watching television." It couldn't be possible. I have no idea, true or not, but it started the wheels turning. I'm conditioned and the conditions I'm in are not at all conducive to helping me along with all I say I want to do.

In the evening, after the pups are walked, after I've built a fire, meditated, read for a half hour or so, I walk into my office and pick up the remote. This begins a round of watching - watching and clicking - all for the purpose (surely this has nothing to do with purpose), of finding out what preposterous thing has happened in government today...who's plead guilty, who said something outrageous, who is the hero and who the villain? I fool myself into thinking it's o.k. to do this by catching up on what I call 'mindless' paperwork. The stuff you can do without your mind.

This 'work' would take about fifteen minutes to complete but it drags on as I gaze and stare and listen - faithfully passive as one news journalist after another offers his or her take on the same story. Different people, different day, same story.

Things are changing and I so want them to change. But change goes best when we're fully present. When we're clear headed, able to think and consider. When we're quiet. That's when our minds do their best work, when we're most imaginative and open to signs there to guide us towards the new.

So, this evening...the season finale of "Victoria" will mark the end of viewing for the next 3 months. I've made a promise. No t.v., 90 days - then I'll reassess.

An adventure. Looking for signs.

© austenhayes.com

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