A Moment To Smooth The Rough

Rough. Look it up. This word has many definitions: 1. Not quite exact or correct 2. An irregular surface 3. Full of hardship or trials 4. Violently agitated and turbulent 5. Unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound 6. Unkind, cruel, or uncivil 7. Not perfected

Any number of these definitions could be creatively applied to life.

Moment. 1. A particular point in time 2. An indefinitely short time 3. At this time 4. Having important consequence or influence

Every moment affects you. When the moments of rough begin to have too much influence, the moments of smooth may seem completely out of reach.

But they are there. I promise the smooth is still there.

Look for it.

Silence. No tv. No podcasts. No music. No internet. No social media. No books. No other people. No other world but my own.

My house is falling into darkness. No overhead lights. No lamps. A single beam of sun lining the hall as the sun sets behind the trees.

I sit back on my bed, nestled into a pile of pillows. I pull up a blanket.

I take off my glasses. Without them I cannot see clearly two feet in front of my face. I look toward the open window where everything now blurs like I live in a Monet painting.

I close my eyes. I place my hand on my stomach and feel myself breathing, slow and constant, in a way that calms my mind.

I listen to the quiet that isn’t quiet at all. The crickets, the birds, children playing, shouting indistinctly in the distance, even the regular stream of traffic racing by, come together in concert to form the symphony that I recognize as home.

I smell the wonderful, unmistakable scent of autumn. Neighbors grilling dinner on their patios, leaves drying as their trees prepare to sleep the winter away, and the indescribable change in the breeze that is ushering in my favorite season.

I feel that breeze glide in through my window and brush my face.

For a moment my joints don’t ache, my head doesn’t hurt, I don’t have a million trains of thought jumping the tracks of my brain. The urge to write, to create, even something small, is stronger than the overhelming heaviness of exhaustion.

For a moment I wish life could stand still and be like this forever.

But inevitably I realize, as I always do, that moments like this can only be fully appreciated as gifts if they are experienced amidst the chaos and struggle and glory of daily life.

My wish then is not for time to stand still and be locked in peace and calm, my hope is instead that I remember to make myself stop and look for the smooth moments. They don’t often come running at you screaming, “Hey! I’m here to save you from The Rough!” You have to seek them out. Create them out of thin air, if you must. But the smooth moments can be found. I know they are still there. And those smooth moments will save you from The Rough.

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9 thoughts on “A Moment To Smooth The Rough

  1. Rich. Complicated. Simple. Deep. Evocative.

    Lots going on here. I don’t know you, but for blogging and other social media, yet I appreciate you and as such, I worry. My inner Jew.

    Sorry for the Rough. Me thinks there’s more of it than you deserve. But I do agree, in life, if won’t find it if you’re not looking. My only suggestion — my only hope, is that you simply spend as much time as possible looking. The math may serve you better.

    I face this too. My rough is different from yours. I gather yours is in your blood and your bones. Mine is in my past. I look though, daily, for a portal out of the rough. All day long, if only for a moment…

    1. Thanks, Roy. I assure you that I’m fine. Promise! Just a rougher than usual month physically, which of course makes all the other stressors more stressy. I am happy to report that meditation has given me tremendous tools to mentally deal with my physical aches and pains. The brain and breathing are powerful tools, indeed! And I was blessed to be born a deeply rooted optimist, so I promise I will continue to furiously seek out the smooth. I’ve been nagged by the need to write something for awhile so when a spark happened for a second tonight I grabbed it and this is what came out. I wrote it as much as a reminder to hopefully help others who I know are living their own versions of rough as I did for myself. Be well, Roy. 🙂

  2. Ah, sorry to hear you’ve been in the Rough more than usual lately. Your writing here is anything but. I felt myself relaxing as I read your words. Could hear the sounds and smell the smells. Appreciate this reminder, after a full weekend in migraineland. When I can’t function, there is no place that feels as good to me as my bedroom, where I can lie down and look out the window. Gotta take our small comforts wherever we can find them. Hope things get smoother in the coming days.

  3. Dang, I wrote a comment and wordpress ate it. I will condense it thus:
    Lovely, evocative writing
    I am sorry you’ve been in the Rough
    I hope you get out of there soon
    This writing helped calm me, which I can sorely use.

    1. Thanks, Rita. As it turns out, wordpress did not eat your first comment, it sent it to my moderation bucket for some reason. All that means is I got two Rita comments for the price of one. A lovely bonus, indeed. 🙂

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