Rhythms, tides, waves, sine curves, and the ebb and flow of life

I’ve been riding the swells of my moods lately, dipping into sadness, rising into joy, then back again. When I looked back at what I was writing a year ago, I see I was talking about the very same theme. I wonder if this is a bad thing, this apparent wallowing in the same topics, if I am not moving on, moving forward. Or if the continued exploration is just my getting deeper into an important rhythm of my life, a critical component of who I am.

I feel frustrated, sometimes, by the fact that I seem to write the same thing over and over.  When I slide down the trough into another sad day, I often feel like I’ve failed, that somehow all this work to be more present, more engaged, more patient, has amounted to nothing and my hands are as empty and grasping as ever.  Shouldn’t I be getting more steady, more happy, more mature?

Maybe not.  It’s gradually sinking in (I’m slow, I know) that the up and down of happiness and sadness, of life and loss, will continue no matter what. I’ve described this pattern as a sine curve before, but it also reminds me of waves, of tides, of the waxing and waning moon, of some fundamental drumbeat of truth that happens deep inside my body. It is as unavoidable as the turning forward of time and as essential as air, both an reflection of and somehow animated by the natural world.

What I am beginning to suspect, though, is that it is actually in this slow, meandering oscillation, both rhythmic and random, that life exists. I return again and again in my writing and in my thinking to this space, the space in between, to the inscrutable and unknown force that sets the cadence of these movements. Is this another example of dwelling, and not growing, or is it just that I continuing to tell one of the elemental stories of my life?

Maybe my whole life, and all my writing, is simply my search for metaphors to express this. Maybe, as to my son’s blue eyes, I’m being drawn somewhere that I just don’t understand yet. Maybe the way I return over and over to these themes is just an echo of the mountainous up-and-down terrain of my emotional landscape. I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

10 thoughts on “Rhythms, tides, waves, sine curves, and the ebb and flow of life”

  1. My concept of the process has been to see it like a spiral. We keep coming around to the same place, the same feelings, the same moments over and over again, but at an ever deeper level, moving ever inward toward ourselves.

  2. I think the only thing that matters is how you feel about the introspection (and by extension) the writing. If it fills you up despite the ebbs and flows than I think it’s important, even vital to who you are. From what I’ve learned of you here, I know this is the case and I think it’s who you are. To be willing and able to acknowledge as you do is a gift.

  3. I came to this realization a few months ago that life is full of ups and downs. I am learning to embrace these rather than use them as proof that I am less than what I should be.

  4. To be cognizant of the waves of your truth is so important to recognize. I think that you should trust this process, because it is wholly yours. Perhaps in the end it may not matter, but your giving yourself a chance to figure it out. This take courage.

  5. Oh, yes! A spiral, or even a double-helix: the DNA of our mind/spirit; work/pleasure; external/internal, all walking the same paths, growing tighter and more connected along each curve, during each revisit to the same place. An intricate visual for our own inner-connectedness, a rippling dappled reflection of our inter-connectedness.

    What a beautiful confirmation to an authentic and seeking (and also beautiful) post.

    Hugs and butterflies,

  6. There are only a few things in life that are important. These tropes and archetypes recur and recur.

    This presents the artist with a dilemma–focus on the important things, and risk seeming derivative, or focus on being original at the risk of spending one’s efforts on the trivial.

    To me, much of modern art smacks of the latter, to its detriment.

    Focus on what’s important to you. The important things always bear repeating.

Comments are closed.