No checklist, please

Art by Tallulah Fontaine

This morning, I couldn’t help but think of Mary Oliver, a genius and a poet I adore intensely, and how she wakes up every morning in her home, picks up her notebook and pen, and jots down the morning and its everyday-ness in her words. There is such a stillness in her life that she the sheer moments of beauty come to her often, leading to the most extraordinary verse.

What if we were to not have checklists to tick off each item in, no 20–page-long bucket lists, no “I want to see X, Y and Z countries before I turn 50". I’d imagine that life would be a whole lot more meaningful perhaps, if we let life do its thing every once in a while rather than controlling each second.

For instance, this morning, I woke up before my 3 alarms could go off, which wasn’t planned but it gave me several moments of utter silence and awe to experience Bangalore’s charm at 7 am on a monsoon morning. I am grateful for this, but had I woken up with the alarms as planned, who is to say that my morning would have been any less wonderful? This is not to say that one should not have new experiences or see the world or learn new skills, do it, please!

But having shifted from a very restless state of mind to a much calmer, introspective space over time, it is kinder to oneself and the mind to breathe easy, to minimise the overthinking, the overwhelming and feel free.

In Rishi Valley, the focus was on simple living, high thinking. Time to remind myself what those words and that quality of life felt like.