… and just how big little things can be. (as Prairie Dawn used to sing on Sesame Street)
I would like to stop waking up every morning feeling that (1) I have too much to do; and (2) everything matters so much.
We’ll all be dead in a hundred years, so why does it matter if I use “shabby” or “ramshackle” or “tumbledown” to modify “house?” The sun will explode in 5 billion years, so why does it matter if the local or the global economy collapses? Why does it matter who becomes President of the United States in 2009? Why does it matter if a family schism breaks my heart? Why does it matter if someone I love dies?
Sometimes when I meditate, I imagine I’m this tiny, free-floating celestial body. First I float above the earth and orbit it, looking down at all the different landmasses and oceans as they pass. Then I become my own planet, orbiting the sun. Then I break free of that and become my own star, spinning through the Milky Way. Then I break free of that and watch all the galaxies swirling from far, far away.
It helps me get perspective. It reminds me that I’m just one tiny piece of an ENORMOUS, INTERCONNECTED universe. It makes me realize how little my worries are, how little I am, how little even the earth is.
And somehow, in some way that contradicts itself and makes no sense, this helps — because it also reminds me that it’s the little things that are important. Postcards from my Dad with silly messages. Tomatoes from the garden on a sunny day. Emily Dickinson poems. You. Me. Elections. Oceans. The whole earth. The earth is as little as a postcard from my Dad. My Dad is as important as the earth. Everything is little. Everything is precious. And everything is connected. That’s why things matter.
And all that “too much” that I wake up feeling like I have to do — that’s all little stuff, too. And then I find myself ready to do it, because certainly I can handle something little, right? Something little and important that connects me to everything else. We are all called to do little and important things that connect us to everything else.
Take some pressure off of yourself. Think about the vastness of space and time. Everything you do is little. And every little thing you do is a precious part of the universe.
Yours asking forgiveness for philosophical incoherence,
catalog. If you’d like it as a poster, postcard, t-shirt, etc., go here.