Brandi Carlile wrote a line in a song that stopped me dead in my tracks the other day:
“Can you fight the urge to run for another day? You might make it farther if you learn to stay.”
It’s become a kind of mantra for me lately; to stay the course, to keep a wide vision, to dig deeper, deeper, deeper every day. Man, it is really fucking hard though.
This photo is one of about 1000 we shot, and the only one where Rue wasn’t bucking or running or being generally annoying. It’s one moment in a thousand moments where the light broke through, the horse stood still, and I was finally able to take a deep breath in; one winning moment in a thousand filled with chaos. That’s sort of what life feels like right now.
So how do you know when it’s time to run? How do you learn to stay? I always thought I could trust my intuition but lately I’m all scrambled. I have to relentlessly remind myself that we should never stop doing something fundamentally important just because it’s difficult. We’re worthy of understanding the nature of our total situation on every level and we owe it to ourselves and to each other to remain completely enthralled with the process, and not just decide that it’s too exhausting to grapple with.
Being able to stay, for me, means focusing—diamond focusing—on the small, unsexy, potent but fleeting moments of happiness and success. It means mining my everyday experiences for what insights they can offer because you know what? Those tiny moments add up to something vast and substantial. They move us toward our biggest questions and penetrate the deepest layers of life on this wild spinning space rock.