knee deep in weeds

notes on a simple life

the right lighting

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it's a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk.
Use your natural powers -- of persistence, concentration, and insight -- to do work you love and work that matters.
Solve problems. make art, think deeply.” 
― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

They dangle their beautiful heads, even in full bloom they are shy. Their beauty, in the dead of winter, is a breath of fresh air and a gift. Their leaves are often speckled with rain damage and not always pretty, making them easy to walk by unnoticed, as the buds hide in the shelter beneath the ragged leaves overhead. 

They really never turn their faces upwards towards the sky, but will look you straight in the eye if you get down to their level to engage. Which I encourage you to do. 

Flow is an optimal state in which you feel totally engaged in an activity...In a state of flow, you’re neither bored nor anxious, and you don’t question your own adequacy. Hours pass without your noticing.
— Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I have a few in my yard but our local arboretum has hundreds and it is a win-win situation for the dog and I as we stroll along the paths between rain showers one day. Their colors are muted and they don't dazzle like roses or daisies, who feel a need to be in the spotlight, every head in the crowd taking notice. But rather hellebores are content to flourish in calm and quiet, often overlooked, but content. 

I decided that they are introverts. Choosing to bloom alone in the darkness of winter; choosing to not draw too much attention by offering up too much glitz or color. They are a solitary plant, demanding quiet and your full attention to see their delicate layers of beauty. 

The highly sensitive [introverted] tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive. They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions—sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments—both physical and emotional—unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss—another person’s shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.
— Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

I think most of us introverts struggle to find the right lighting. But when we find it, we are able then to let go of the guilt of not always fitting in and live our lives whole. Shining without judgement or questions. 

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story.
— Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking


how was your week?