In the Nick of Time

Though relatively mild, this past winter seemed particularly long. There was much tussling with unwelcome thoughts and feelings, and I found myself a bit desperate for distractions from my jagged, dark edges. Up cropped a familiar longing to flee and the just as familiar resignation that there is nowhere to run from yourself. But a gal can try, can’t she? Let the great escape begin!

Turns out it’s a good thing I missed Sherlock, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes when it aired on PBS several years ago, because it’s now available on Netflix and has been an ace distraction. Sherlock’s cool, observant, fact-deducing personality, void of the messy business of emotions and relationships and the attachments borne of the two, has been like a cool bath to a fevered spirit.

On the other end of escapist spectrum, I tuned into the film Innsaei (in-sī-ā). Innsaei is an ancient Icelandic word meaning intuition. The more poetic and fuller definition is the sea within. The documentary explores intuition and the connectedness of all of life and argues that we have lost touch with the sensory, and as a result, so much more.

The film reminded me that only a small portion of the mind is conscious. Estimates range from between two and 10 percent, leaning toward the low end of that range. This means there is roughly 95% that is unconscious, the busy underground dwelling place of spirituality, dreams, intuition, imagination, synchronicity, and yes, emotions. I wonder what Sherlock would make of that?

Sometimes it’s hard to escape the mighty pull of the five percent. The mind is a fierce competitor, especially in our modern world with so much vying for our attention. And there are times when it is equally hard to strike a healthy balance with the 95 percent, often leading to a tenacious, wincing match of championship rounds between the two. Usually, like the winter, the match does end. We take off our gloves. We find another distraction. We see light. In sashays the lengthening of days crossing through the equinox and not looking back. Up rises the sun like a brilliant orange host breaking through the darkness, casting uneven flowing patterns of sparkling light across the water, beauty and sustenance for the weary mind and the parched spirit. Just in the nick of time.