Monday, November 12, 2007
awareness, detachment, and hard work
I went to meditation group on wednesday, feeling so tired and worn down that I knew I needed to make myself relax. I hadn't slept through an entire night all that week, for various reasons. The meditation on Wednesday is 45 minutes, which is long for someone like me who seldom meditates, and then for maybe 20 minutes at a shot. I think that for most of it, I was on the very edge of sleep. I kept coming to, my head jerking up after strange pictures in my head.
The whole point of the "insight meditation" that we do is being aware and present in the moment. Instead of my mind drifting to tomorrow or yesterday or thinking of other places or people, I'm supposed to simply experience the feeling of sitting in the room. I'm not supposed to go anywhere. Those who know me and the slightly disassociative tendency of my brain, know that this is very difficult for me at the best of times.
But on wednesday there was a man. He was wearing a light grey suit, and he would entice me away from the room, and the chair, and the giant round light with the paper shade. Every time I realized what he was doing, I would intentionally return to the room, in my mind, and that would be the moment when my head would jerk back, and I'd wake up, realize I'd been on the verge of dreaming. Many times the man in the suit came for me, and each time that I left him, he grew more irate. Sometimes his face would be red and scabby, like a humanoid demon from a show like buffy or supernatural, but always with that clean grey suit, and every time I shook off his grip and returned to the room.
The question was posed, after we were done with the silent meditation, why do you come here? Why do you persist in the practice of meditating. Being rather new to the group, I chose to remain silent, but I realized that meditating is a way to find out where I'm at. What's up with me? How am I feeling? Where is my brain?
On wednesday I realized that I was really, really tired. How else could I drift into dreams while sitting up in a well lit room at 7:30 in the evening? I sometimes have trouble doing that at 10 in the dark in a cozy bed. As for mr. scabby yet well dressed..... I don't know. I think he may have been mostly informed by the Neil Gaiman novel I'm reading.
Secondly, I feel as though I've run out of compassion for mankind. I feel this because I was watching a video today (No More Drama by Mary J. Blige) and it made me feel compassion, but that compassion felt like a blow to the system, you know? Like it had been so long since I'd experienced it.
I think it started, or at least.... ruptured, right about the time my dad had his blowout. Like not allowing myself to be pulled in by his drama required me to shut down in a lot of ways. I pulled myself away from my family, all of them, in an emotional sense, but I think that I inadvertently pulled away from all people at the same time.
Almost as though it's not possible to separate myself from some people without separating myself from all. Do you think this is true? Is this a question of being aware, and managing my emotions carefully? Is this a result of surrounding myself primarily with "acquaintances" and less with people I'm close to?
Thirdly, I finally buckled down and wrote a short (quite short) story, motivated by my constant battle with the vermin infestation. I'm not overly impressed with it, but it exists mainly as an exercise in making myself do something I haven't done in a very long time..... flexing some neglected muscles, if you will. So whole I'm not ecstatic about the story itself, I am happy with myself for getting it done. It took a day, a beer, a cigar, some 86% Ivory Coast chocolate, 2 episodes of X-Files, and a trip to the park.
If today is typical of a day in the life of a writer, I could get used to it. Though I think my productivity is somewhat poor. I enjoy smoking while writing. I think I'll become a stereotypical drinking and smoking writer with bloodshot eyes. I'm gonna need to get an ashtray.