To get to Omega, it helps to have Alpha

I was chatting with my mom the other night about simple tasks and the fine line between appealing simplicity and tedium.  I think no matter how dynamic a person may be, they will enjoy a pursuit that someone else would label, “Warning: this task is so dull it could put a Buddhist monk to sleep.”  Sometimes, the line between the tedious pursuit and the enjoyable one can be so seemingly arbitrary that it baffles.  For instance: I hate hand-sewing woven fabric.  I’m not good at it, I don’t enjoy it, it bores me to tears.  But I will sit and painstakingly stitch a knitted garment together, or kitchener two pieces of lace into a single unit without a shred of boredom.  It sends me to a meditative place, alpha waves radiating happily off of my brain until I reach completion.

What is the difference that makes plying a needle so different from… plying a needle?  Beats me.  What I do know is that my usual stimulus-seeking, “are we there yet?” personality is somehow calmed and soothed by finishing or blocking a piece of knitwear.  Similar to walking a meditation labyrinth, the measured pace of these simple activities calms and focuses the mind.  Given that I am so often so intent on zipping through, getting to the end, getting things DONE and behind me, it’s reassuring that I have a calmer side.