Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Great Projects Afoot"

"People with great projects afoot habitually look further and more clearly into
the future than people who are mired in day-to-day concerns.
They do not easily grow sad or old:
they are seldom intimidated by the alarms and confusions of the present
because they have something greater of their own,
some sense of their large and coherent motion in time,
to compare the present with."
Robert Grudin

A commonsense opinion, don't you think? If we let ourselves become "mired in day-to-day concerns" we soon lose our vitality. I do.

These daily concerns are inevitable for most of us. We must make a living, cook meals and wash dishes, fold laundry and mop floors. Our have-to's swallow up our want-to's, but who's to say that our want-to's aren't as important as our have-to's? Maybe they're actually our need-to's, one or two of them, anyway.

If we don't make and take time for the great project of our life, we can easily grow sad. We can become so "intimidated by the alarms and confusions" of our life, of this world, that we lose that feeling of joy upon awakening, that "Oh, boy, another day!"

We're not prone to feel sad or even our numerical age when there is a great project afoot to look forward to every morning when we get out of bed, when we have at least a small chunk of time to do something that keeps us from becoming grouchy old men and women. Something to keep our minds alert and our fingers nimble.

Was there ever a time when you found yourself lost in a project and rose from working on it almost giddy with happiness? So much so that even the evening news couldn't dampen your spirit, when bills to pay or health concerns were but minor nuisances? 

Or have you become fatigued at times in your life and there was no time to figure out why? Was the fatigue physical, emotional, or spiritual--or a combination of all?

I have over the past few weeks, and I can't seem to figure out why it doesn't go away because it is so foreign to me at this stage of my life. I am a woman for whom hope springs eternal. I see the glass not only as half full but full of sparkling fizz and pink bubbles. 

I knew that this post would only have one picture----

I thought about writing that my metaphorical fishing trip might last a week or two or more. But then, what would I do if Across the Way's magnetic force drew my fingers back to my laptop in a day or two? How much egg would I have to wipe off my face then?

No, I'm going to keep my options open. I am going to study Grudin's words some more because in the past I simply loved having great projects afoot.

Do you?


  1. When our grandson died just about 2 hours after his birth, I was having feelings like none I ever had or have not had since then. I wondered if a project would have helped. Our home was on Christmas tour, less than a month after that. I trudged through that project that should have been happy. However, it was an obligation that needed taken care of, before I could go into myself and never come away. Sad, yes that is what I was.
    Then I found a project. Bet you can't guess that project. It was the Back Porch.
    The thing that kept me going through all this past week of uncertainty and illness, was my little journal that hopefully gives others something to look forward to.

    My emotional therapy project has been put away a day or two, now and then, over the 6.5 years since it began. I usually don't wander far. I still need that little cozy place on the Back Porch.

    Fishing trips are good things. Summertime is a great time to "get away".

    Enjoy your break Dewena.

    1. Pat, nothing could compare to losing a grandchild or a child. I can only imagine how that would be. I'm glad that the Back Porch has helped you and it is certainly a gorgeous project. Thank you so much for your words above.


  2. What an insightful post. It seems that all my life I have had one project or another. When I was younger and trying out all kinds of things to see what stuck...and more energetic too, I experimented in all kinds of crafts and delighted in producing homemade decorations like wreaths and flower arrangements, embroidery,and painted signs. Now I would rather buy things in their finished state and enjoy the creative efforts of others. My Moho has always been. Never stop learning. I guess that is because I always taught elementary school and there was always something new to study. When I learned that there was so much that I didn't know about the computer I went all ober the web and found that people were very generous in sharing their knowledge. I learned so much about blogging! Then I got into photography and learned to manipulate pictures. Now I'm into the ipad big time. My latest desire is to get into watercolor.
    Thanks for your comments. I am loving having my little ones. I don't get to spoil them very often. This weekend my older grands will be here. Dan just graduated from Penn State and is out in the working world in Pittsburgh. Scott will start college in the fall. As you know I am very family oriented. But I must say I am looking forward to relaxing and reading next week!

    1. Thank you so much, Peggy for your comment. It is clear on your blog that you love new challenges in photography, and your busy life. I'm reading these comments with interest and encouragement. I was able to email you privately too as you aren't a no-reply commenter so you know more of the story! Thanks so much!

  3. i had to smile. because when i feel a bit burnt out on the peanut and i admit to it and try to take a break... i find myself right back and blabbing on!
    then like you say... i feel i have scrambled egg all over my face. LOL.
    i sometimes simply need a quiet spell from my own inner voice.
    and yes. when i used to draw children's portraits i could lose myself for hours on end. and couldn't wait to get to the board in the morning.
    those days are long gone now. i have no desire to go there again.
    these days i simply let the day unfold at whatever speed it chooses.
    just so happy in my retirement. never bored!
    and i love my visits to valley view. if you should ever need a break... i'll simply read all the archives again til you return! xoxo

    1. As always, Tammy, thanks so much for your comment. I'm taking these comments from you wonderful blog friends to heart and trying to learn from them. I can just picture you leaping out of bed in the morning ready to go! I'll work on getting my leap back too!

  4. Yes, it's those tedious day-to-day chores that bog us down. I know exactly what you're saying, and as usual, you said it so well. However, I guess I've let my blog become my project - my outlet - my escape. There have been times when it has become a chore and there have been many times I've almost given it up, but then I get a tiny spark of creativity (or something close to that), and suddenly, I'm enjoying typing another blog post. Hang in there, Dewena. laurie

    1. Laurie, you four that have commented above are wise and I'm reading every encouraging word. There is no way I could give up the joy of being a part of my blog friends' lives. I just may need to be a little less active and get back to some of the other things I'm needing. I'm going to figure this thing out, with God's help and guidance.

  5. Hello my friend,

    How timely this post of yours is for me! I cannot stress the importance of having a project on the go, the longer it takes, the better, I say, because a work in progress takes constant thought, attention and practice; you're always 'afoot'. To me, that implies motion, you're heading somewhere with something, sometimes, uncertain, which makes it all the more exciting, does it not? When you do reach your goal, it is a reward in itself. Creativity, in its many magical forms, is a blessing in one's life, as it awakens the spirit and the mind to dreams fulfilled, once imagined!

    Thank you so kindly for these most inspiring words of Robert Grudin and your own; they are to be read more than once!


    1. Yes! Thank you, Poppy. It's wonderful that you blog friends understand and feel the same things yourself.

      I noticed on the blogroll that you have a post up about coffee and longevity. I probably need to read that! I'm afraid that I don't drink coffee, never have but love the smell of it. After supper tonight I'll read your post and maybe be convinced to give it a try again.

  6. Hi Dewena,

    I love projects, obviously, since I have been involved in one for six months now. I think staying busy is life giving and doing nothing is death. But the key word is balance....we need to remember this in all we do.

    I also believe that all of us have periods of feeling dormant and they are necessary...these times give us pause for changes in our lives. Not fighting these times makes them go faster for me. Remember a tree loses its leaves before it becomes beautiful again.

    Love your dear post, as always!


  7. Finding a balance is not always easy. I like to remind my family that I am bipolar. lol.....some days I never know who I will be. But I do find that exercise just makes me feel so much better. :)

  8. LOL! We all need a GONE FISHIN' sign to hang on our lives! Have a great time!

  9. Yes! I LOVE having projects afoot. If I don't, I feel sad for that seems to mean that no one desires anything from me...I feel a loss of connection.

    But, sometimes, I need a break from all the volunteerism that sometimes takes me over. Gone fishin' sounds good right about then. Or a change of pace. That's what happened to me last week. I just had to take a sabbatical on abbey style home for I feel I've explored the theme all I can and am just plain out of new ideas...I'm starting to repeat myself. So I jumped off the wagon and onto another. A new blog that might take me in other directions, yet to be discovered...there's a certain amount of excitement and mental activity in that :)

  10. I do, and I can't wait to see your projects! YAY!

    "I see the glass not only as half full but full of sparkling fizz and pink bubbles." I love this! I can see that in you.

    Enjoy your "fishing trip."


  11. I read this a while ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. The quote reminds me of some words an older mason said: Keep busy, don't worry about nothin.' And indeed when he stopped being busy, he got sad and died.
    I have made a change in my life. I'm not listening to news. I've not watched tv news since I was a kid, but I do listen. But I've found that I simply cannot absorb all the sorrow in this world, and the feeling of helplessness that goes with it. I can't hear about one more person dying, and still keep my own equilibrium. I need to live my life in my own quiet way.


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