Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winnowing

I'm taking a 9-month course called Aging as Creative Catalyst and our assignment this month is to watch for places that need winnowing. This harvest image of throwing grain up into the air and letting the chaff blow away while the useable kernels fall to the ground and remain is an interesting one.

It fits my impulse to declutter, winnowing my possessions down to those I love and use, those that are most meaningful. Some time back, I wrote about clearing out all my craft supplies, discarding and giving away all those possible projects and skills I could learn. All the "maybe someday's." It felt good to create more space for what I already love. And I've been making great progress on my novel since then.

I'm also seeing how this can apply to relationships. My beloved Wednesday Women's group talked last summer about restful relationships and letting go of those that weren't. I made some progress then, in two relationships in particular. It wasn't easy to do. I tried to be graceful and I'm not sure I succeeded but it has been quieter and more peaceful in my heart since I let those two people go.

I can see that more of this lies ahead. More of recognizing energy that doesn't work for me, optional relationships that don't bring me joy, unbalanced relationships where I'm giving too much or receiving too little (or the reverse), relationships with fuzzy boundaries that don't work any more. Relationships that served a good purpose for a long time and now don't. Or relationships that have changed, where an old caring remains but a current intensity doesn't exist.

The good girl in me is a bit frightened by this, frightened by the possibility that people will be hurt, will take it wrong, that I am somehow responsible for them too. Maybe the good girl needs winnowing out as well.

1 comment:

LC said...

Wow! This post really offers clarity on "simplifying," although I know that is not the objective of your exercise. I am going to have to read this through a few more times, chew a little bit and let it work its way into application in my efforts to live more simply but with more meaning. Thanks!

BTW, the word verification that showed up for this comment was "saddlest." Since you were writing, among other things, about relationships, I think that word means "one who is an expert at saddling others, without seeking their consent, with emotional baggage and tasks."