A somewhat poignant Labor Day for me, as for the first time in a quite a while I am celebrating being away from a different job than the one I have had for the last seven years.
It has largely been a weekend free from media as well, a sort of sense of retreating from the world that evolved into a conscious choice. The change in inputs has hopefully allowed for a settling of my thoughts and clarity (something I desperately desire for the days ahead).
The outside is now being flooded with light from time to time, as the sun breaks through with bright beams that flare up inside the house then are quickly reduced back to the grey that preceded them. Perhaps in its on way, Nature trying to remind me of the nature of clarity.
Clarity. The theme keeps running through my thoughts, perhaps fueled by the change in career which has begun to afford me the ability to let go of so much that I was carrying (and am still carrying) around. Perhaps it is running through my head because it seems to be the very thing that we lack, both in our personal and social extended lives. We confuse a great many things for it, of course: involvement, fulfillment, activism, vocalization, and that most dreaded of things, social media. Somehow if we expend energy or we make ourselves expressed, we are being "clear".
But it strikes me, on this moment where the clouds scud and the sunlight occasionally breaks through, that this is precisely not the way that we find clarity.
Clarity dwells in silence and reflection, something that none of the above listed activities either entail or (if were truly argued) values. Clarity is the intake of inputs and the settling of these inputs through thought and consideration, looking at things from all aspects (not just the ones we prefer) before arriving at understanding. At clarity.
Clarity settles the mind. Clarity allows us to look at events and trends and people (even ourselves) and reflect on outcomes and begin to discuss and argue them not from a point of passion or aggressiveness but from the position of well reasoned thought. Clarity allows us to account for many ends (Never all - not even the wise, as Gandalf said, can see all ends) of things, things that those without clarity lack.
The world does not need more activism, any more than it needs more involvement or more connectivity or loud shouting. It needs, oddly enough, exactly what a "holiday" offers us: the ability to turn aside from the outward facing lives that dominate us and simply sit.
And think. Clearly.