I’m taking a course in blogging. The course is called ‘intentional blogging’, and the exercise for today was to find a focus for your blog. That exercise scared me.

My whole life I have been hearing people preach about the need for intention, purpose and efficiency for our lives. And my whole life I have been stubbornly against that. I am not against other people having intention, purpose or efficiency. I actually admire it. I just don’t agree that Efficiency is The Only Way. I don’t seem to be able to be efficient. I like to be broadly interested, I like to digress, I like to scatter my talents. I don’t believe that the whole world proves to us we have to be efficient. A case in point is the flowering of the almond tree. There are myriads of blossoms on each tree, and only some bear fruit and become almonds. But all of them are beautiful, each little flower. And the whole cloud of blossom takes my breath away.


almond blossom in Jerusalem

The question is, if the flowers that ‘made it’ to become almonds did anything different in order to bear fruit, or if they just happened to be chosen. From another perspective, one could say that every little flower at least had the intent and the purpose to become an almond. OK. And also, that the almond tree did not produce apple blossom. So I am warming up to the idea of intent and purpose. I just don’t know how to get to mine.

I do believe that practice makes perfect, though. In other words, I like to see myself not as a little flower, but as the tree, putting out myriads of blossoms in hopes of getting a few almonds. I guess that is kind of intentional after all… Maybe I have understood the preaching wrong, all my life. I notice that a lot, in my old age (I am fifty). That things I heard were not wrong, but I wasn’t able to hear them. Sometimes, I humbly think, they were also said wrong – for me anyway. “What is your purpose in life? Becoming a nurse or a teacher?” doesn’t make sense to me. I would like to be both, if I could. If one also talks about the will of God, it becomes even more confusing.

But I do understand. One has to focus. Otherwise the world becomes a blurry chaos. And I don’t, always. And it does, sometimes. There are days that I live in a blurry kind of world and I don’t like it. So I should learn to focus. But how do you decide your focus? There are so many things that one could focus on.
If you have a camera, you don’t constantly focus on the same thing, do you. So I can focus on different things too, can’t I?

The advice the exercise gave, was to list all the purposes I thought I could have for this blog. And then to choose one. And suddenly it was all clear to me. Well, not all. I still have to work on focusing. But I think that this exercise refocused me. Now let’s see if I still feel the same about it tomorrow…


4 thoughts on “Intentions

  1. As uncomfortable as it might be, sometimes to live in a blur is what makes things clear, it’s a necessary step. If we were clear all the time, on our path and our intentions, it would be impossible to learn to mix it up. Love your metaphor of the tree.
    As an aside, you live in a city I love, that is nothing short of magical.

  2. I had the same reaction to that assignment. I like your analogy of the almond blossom tree. And I love the conclusion you came to that you were the tree itself.
    After reviewing the many topics I wanted to talk about on my blog, I did discover that they are all driven by a few basic core values. So, I too, found I’m possible not as unfocused as I thought. (Hope we don’t fail the “class” 🙂 )

    • Thanks, Lisa! I don’t know if I would be considered as failing the course. I didn’t do much but I got much stuff to think about and I feel even just the thinking has an impact… The lessons are still there, and I slowly intend to implement them.

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