Today’s post is written by none other than, Ben Ewert, my wonderful husband. I figured you might get tired of hearing my writing voice so aim to incorporate a guest post here and there.
This post is part of the 2021 Writing Challenge. This challenge is open to anyone and involves writing on one word a week for 52 weeks. Write for yourself or write for others but either way, please feel free to share by posting a link in the comments (if you’re posting on this week’s word) or post on social using the #2021writingchallenge and tagging me on Twitter or Instagram, or posting on my FB page so I can repost. Happy Writing!
Balance. A buzz-word that emanates from the nether regions of the early naughts, usually associated with self-help books and a zen-like attention to ordering one’s life. Balance is a foreign concept to me. I think it should be easy, a simple matter of weights drifting into similarity on the scales. When one side starts to dip, either add more one the opposite side to bring them to even or remove one to settle back into balance. Or at least as close as one can get. Yet in my experience, attempting to achieve balance in my life has been like trying to close my hand around a slightly deflated balloon. You press on one side and the other bulges out. No matter how hard you try and contain it all, one bit eventually escapes, protruding bulbously to one side. To be honest though, I’m probably giving myself too much credit. Even thinking about balance hasn’t been a discipline of mine. I tend to follow dreams and whispers of a treasured life. Vocation to me is a matter of the heart, a relentlessly pursued adventure, rather than the result of an ordered, considered and balanced plan of action.
But I can’t deny the plain fact that balance allows life to flourish. If you press down too hard on one bit of your life, another flies wildly out of control. If you live inside your own head all the time, the people around you fade when they should be shining brightly alongside you. Consider balance as more a matter of resonance than of weight. Certain frequencies of sound naturally resonate with one another, especially those in a certain series. When tuning a guitar, strings are stretched or loosened to approach the common pitch. The closer they get the more slowly sound waves can be heard to vibrate, slowing in pace until coalescing in unity. Resonance isn’t about one time compensation, it is about a never-ending interplay. The more ‘in tune’ pitches are, the greater the pure, burnished and balanced tone they produce. They live in and through one another, occupying the same space without the exclusion of the other. Each pitch is allowed to be itself while participating in the sound of the whole.
I believe this a helpful way to consider balance in my life. I am attempting to allow the various parts of my life to live alongside each other, giving and taking in an ebb and flow that doesn’t belie the importance of any single part. That’s not to say that a pruning of sorts doesn’t need to occur but as I breathe deeply of this complicated life, I turn over in my mind St Paul’s words to young Timothy: ‘that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.’ Not a reflection of circumstance but a practiced and disciplined state of mind and heart. Balance.