The Fly, the Ant and the Faint


I just about passed out at the studio today. I have not felt well for many weeks, some combination of things, some I understand and am working to manage, others I am clueless on. I have not really consumed much, forcing myself to eat 500-600 calories per day if I am lucky  which may have been part of the issue and I am working to ensure I am getting enough fluids.  I was teaching a new student, working with them to make glass rondels which is always fun but it just didn’t seem like the right moment, I was not present.

I found myself flustered, just not feeling comfortable and while it was warm in the studio I am used to hotter temperatures. I just found my stress level really elevated and with the anxiety, my breathing became erratic. I stepped aside at a break, getting a drink and trying to gather my thoughts but all I could think of was not here too! This is my sacred space, where I can find my balance, being present in the moment and I had carried my issues into the shop. I ended up going through all the classic symptoms and almost fainted, all the while I kept thinking not here, oh please don’t show up here to, not in my space, not here…

I am grateful to work with a medium I enjoy with a wonderful friend. We have seen each other through thick and thin and share most things that occur in our lives. He went and got me some water and a cool rag and in that moment I was reminded of how I struggle to let anyone care or support me. It evoked the realization that I would love to give care and support for others but still struggle accepting it.  I tried to graciously accept the assistance and focus my thoughts.

Sitting  and trying to keep my composure I found myself looking down at the pavement outside the shop watching a tiny ant, almost minuscule. She was struggling to carry a fly, five or six times her size. Watching her struggle with his task I had a moment of clarity I was sympathizing with her struggle, the effort she was putting into carrying a burden so much greater then herself.  For as long as I can remember I struggled to keep it all together for myself and my children. For many years I even had to battle to maintain sanity and balance in a marriage. I had to contend with obstacles and at times what felt like insurmountable odd to succeed never to pause and acknowledge a small victory but to face the next duty requiring my attention. It has had an enormous impact on my system. Going to sleep struggling to silence the mind and dismiss a never ending to-do list, needing to actually schedule meditation and time to eat, waking only to rise and begin again has come at a cost. I need to strive to return to a balanced person, letting go what I cannot change, dismissing what does not have value and focusing on the necessitates all the while striving to be grounded in the moment. I used to focus on the peace and joy in the mundane being grateful for every ordinary miracle; I had lost the focus on those as of late.  Watching the ant, I realized that it was being surrounded by droplets or rain, only to realize my cheeks we covered with tears.

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” –  Thich Nhat Hanh



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