Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Ever feel like a rudderless ship?  Just kind of floating along with no real purpose?  No direction?  I've been feeling like that the past few days.  Kind of post-Holiday blues combined with unemployment.  Sigh.

I know things will change and I know I have a purpose.  It's just coping in the meantime.

Sometimes when you look at a photograph you might feel adrift. 

There's so much to look at and to absorb.  You don't know where to look first and so, you look away. 

When you don't know where to focus your attention, you lose interest like in the picture here.  What is the subject?  Where am I supposed to look?  What was the point of the picture?  You feel adrift, slightly overwhelmed by all the information.  So, you look away at something else.

But, then you focus in on another photograph and it captures your attention and keeps it.  You know what you are looking at and the message is clear.  Now, the following image isn't technically great.  In fact, it's technically kinda bad, but it illustrates the point.  (Please no comments about the amount of food on my plate!  It was Thanksgiving!!) 

I know what to look at in this image.  I know what the subject is.  I'm not overwhelmed.  There's even a "frame" around the subject - the plate - that keeps me focused on the food.

Apply that to life now.  If you're feeling overwhelmed and adrift, pick one thing.  Focus in.  Know what you are looking at.  Define it.  And for a while, if need be, filter out all the rest.  Calm yourself, center yourself, let the subject anchor you.


  1. Hi, Therese, I can hear that you are struggling with being in what Joyce Rupp calls the liminal space, the space in the doorway where you are no longer where you were, but not yet where you are going to be. It occured to me that you might like her book, Open the Door. It presents a six week daily program of transition. I read it last summer and really liked it. The liminal space is an uncomfortable place to be. Which makes me think you might also like Pema Chodron's book Comfortable with Uncertainty. I have found that books often get me through challenging times, so maybe these will be helpful. At any rate, as you say, this difficult time won't last forever. Take care, Galen

  2. Wow! Look at the amount of food on that plate! Totally kidding! :D
    Hang in there, you'll arrive to your port soon. By the way, your blog gets better and better!


  3. So, the problem seems to be that I ate everything on the aforementioned plate and then I got stuck in the door - a very uncomfortable place indeed! Galen, the titles of both of those books are incredibly intriguing. I'll have to take a look at the library. Despite all this free time, I'm an incredibly slow reader... but I'm persistent!