When I stop and look, quietly and patiently for a while, I come to see how often what I’m trying to do is get away.

Get away from this experience – so that I can have another one that promises to be better, more soothing, less troubling.

Get away from this conversation – that’s stirring up my familiar sense of not having done enough, not having been responsible enough, not having taken care enough.

Get away from this moment so that I have a chance of being at peace.

How pervasive ‘get away‘ is for me! My habitual orientation, unless I take care of it, is away-from-here. It’s predicated upon an interpretation of life in which there is, in some way, always somewhere or somewhen better to be.

And that is an interpretation riddled with difficulties and troubles, not least of all because of the dissatisfaction it produces, and the small space it offers in which to act. My attempts to escape life turn out to be a prison of my own making.

So I’m working on deeper in to this experience, this conversation, this moment.

Truth is, I’ve been working on this for a long time already. Because it’s tricky – there are so many opportunities and reasons to fall back into trying to get away.

But work on it I must – we all must, I think – in order to be present to, and to contribute to, this crazy and breathtaking life into which I did not choose to be born, but in which I nonetheless keep on finding myself. And from which there is nowhere better, truth be told, to escape to.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Alejandro Street Photography via Compfight cc

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