I was on my way out to Ocean Point to go for a run, but saw a sign that what used to be Little River Lobster Company, a tiny little lobster dock that closed a year or two ago, was now Rines Wharf. So I took a little detour away from the beautiful stretch of road I had planned to run on, and decided to run on a different beautiful stretch of road instead. The problem was, I couldn't actually run. My knee has been super acting up lately. Back story: I've had 7 operations on my left knee, all between 1979 and 1982. It hurts a lot/often, but I am used to that, and I can do almost anything on it. Recently it's been hurting in a way that makes it hard to even take steps on it, and I have to just wait out the pain til it passes, which is usually just a matter of minutes. I don't really know what's going on, but I know it's not a cartilage tear, because I don't have any cartilage left in there. (Which is something I discovered when I went to the knee doctor to help assess if it would be OK to do the triathlon I did a couple years ago. He said yes. He also said there's no cartilage left in my knee.) But I digress. I ran a couple of steps and immediately knew that I would not be running further. I wasn't sure if I was going to be walking either, but I sat on a rock and looked out at the ocean for a little while, letting whatever needed to calm down in there calm down, and then I was able to walk just fine, with only an occasional twinge. The weather was perfect, the ocean was in between calm and impending storm, the jewelweed lined the road, with seedpods ready to explode, and I just walked and walked along the shore, soaking it all in, grateful for what I can do as opposed to what I can't.
Eventually I came to the old/new lobster dock, and went down to check it out, see what's different. Mostly what's different is that nobody's there. Instead there's a sign at the road that says: Lobsters, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and when you get down to the dock there's another sign that says: If you want lobsters, call (207) xxx-xxxx and I'll be there in 10 minutes if I'm around.
That was my moment of joy. The selfish part was a lesson for me to glean; You came all this way for lobsters? I'm not here? Sorry! I can't be sitting around all day waiting for you to show up. I can only aspire. I can truly only aspire.
(I have my own photo to insert, but I can't get it off my phone to this blog, so I am inserting an internet photo of the wharf, which has people in it, which makes it obvious that it is not my own photo!)
So people, it's coming up on a year of doing something daily for my own
selfish joy, and writing this blog, and I am starting to give serious
consideration to what I need next in my life. 3 years ago, when I
started this blog, I needed to feel that my life was expansive, as I
approached 50, and so I started doing something every day I had never
done before. That year, my writing was very specifically tied to my
mussar (Jewish ethics) practice. The year was extraordinary for me, as
was the blog writing, but it was also draining to write so much every
day. I took the next year off, and was noticeably less happy. This past
year I have done something every day for my own selfish joy, and written
much less about it—often just using this space as a documentation, and
not so much a space for literary, ethical, or even much of a personal
exploration. The daily joy was perfect for me—and I think I will likely
continue the practice. But I'm also sifting through my mind for this
year's practice, and I would like to ask you—especially those of you who
know me well, or have known me for a long time, or who think you have a
good sense of me—what do you think might be good for me in this coming
year? I have a few ideas, of course, but I would also love to hear what
others think. Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments of
this blog (which I would prefer to your leaving them on Facebook) or
send me personal emails. Thank you!