It has been more then a year now since I tore up my knee in a skiing accident. During the long post-surgery rehab I found myself as a “fish out of water.” The first few months of recovery were the worst when I couldn’t even think about getting in a river. I realized without fishing I had no way of clearing my mind. That was when I first became interested in meditation. I picked up a few “beginner” books and was on my way. These days I spend every morning for about 20 or 30 minutes meditating. It is usually the first thing I do when I wake up.
As an architect, a painter, and a fly fisherman, I am always searching for that clarity. It was very intense back in college when I would focus solely on my school projects spending all-nighters designing three dimensional spaces and building models. When I was in my 20’s I was in that zone all the time. After college I would begin practicing on my adult skills and slowly made that transition to becoming a responsible person. For the better part of my mature life, I’ve tried to live by a practical method that I came up with of dividing my life into thirds. A third of my time would focus on my career, a third goes toward my wife and family and a third is my time. Almost thirty years later I am still married with adult kids and I am still managing as an architect. My simple method hasn’t always been simple or balanced and it has needed adjustments from time to time, but it has served me well.
I was talking to an artist friend recently, and he was telling me about how when he first starts a sculpture or a painting he is in that zone for about the first 40 minutes, then his mind starts to wander. I can relate to this experience in my own painting as my initial engagement seems to be the most calming. With the complexities of our everyday lives growing more intense all the time, I am grateful to have a variety of tools in my tool belt.