On Doing the Undone Things

by Rachael on June 6, 2017

There is so much that I have neglected to do (letters I should have written, poems I want to finish, things I ought to give away or throw away or find a place for in my home, in my life) because to do these things would be to trigger anxiety. The undone things settle around me like sediment at the bottom of a pond — the gunk and dead leaves I don’t want to touch with the bottoms of my feet.

I don’t want to live like this, in the midst of gunk I can’t stand to touch, but just to begin to take care of the undone things is to stir things up. What had been tamped-down anxiety becomes anxiety that I wade through, that I breathe, that runs like static through my veins.

But just to begin seems to be the worst part. I find that I actually can wade through the anxiety, breathe it in, and find an opening. The energy of the anxiety is transformed into a kind of buoyancy, sometimes even exuberance.

And the only way to get to that opening is to go through the barrier — again, and again, and again.

Photo credit: Ehud Neuhaus

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