Tent Of Content

Friday has come and I haven’t written a thing all week. How did that happen?

Contentment, that’s how.

You heard me.

Not busy.  Content. You’ve heard of contentment, right? Do you remember contentment? Or have you never been content? I’ll bet you’re read a bajillion articles about it though. About how to be content. I googled it, “articles about contentment.”  Guess how many results? Go ahead, guess.  8,440,000 results. Consider that for a moment. There are over 8 million free articles available online, in English, to help us with contentment. What good is 8 million of a thing if ONE doesn’t work?  Because none of them work. No one I know is content, or at least, not for very long.

This week I built a pillow and blanket fort just to be in a pillow and blanket fort. Not to hide. Not for seclusion. Not to calm down or cry in private or self-soothe. Not really for any other purpose than to occupy a cocoon of cotton. All I did was lay there (after a quick photo, obviously). In contentment.

I made this fort. I am in this fort. I am snuggling this pillow. It is good.

I called it a fort because that’s what we called it as kids but it was not a battle-oriented installation. Not a rampart. No defense necessary. So maybe it wasn’t a fort. It was more of a tent. Do you know what was required of me in the tent? Nothing.

All I have to be here is just here. That’s all I have to do; just be here. Nothing to say. Nothing to write. Nothing to prove. Not sad. Not avoiding anything. Just practicing contentment, which despite 8,440,000 useless helpful hints, is a practice of simplicity.

Vacations and retreats are supposed to accomplish the same thing but they don’t. Drugs and alcohol too. They don’t. Escapism = nope. Don’t think I wasn’t tempted to read a book while I was in there. This one, especially. I was tempted. After a few peaceful moments of contentment I thought, “Now what?” And, “Okay, what now?” But the point of contentment is seek no what now or what next. Only be with what is.

It’s a practice. That takes practice. But it is more fun in a fluffy fort or cave or tent.

— Mercy

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