Monday, November 04, 2013

Let's Rest

One of my writings in response to the first week's prompt for my Contemplative Writing classes - What are you bringing with you to this seven-week session?

My period refused to let me rush: rush from answering emails to packing to checking in for my flight to vacuuming – all the rushing I am inclined to doing when my more sedentary and also patient partner is out of town or at work. I woke up bleeding, and my long list of potential to dos before my Tallahassee 5pm departure slipped through my fingers – words like blood that are no longer needed.

“Oh,” I said, “I see.” I popped Ibuprofen and got a cat on my lap and an afghan and hot tea and plopped down on the couch with my notebook and pen. The same pact with myself as I make with my wife: I have a cat on my lap, I can’t do anything! Add a clock and two timed writings – and it means that even in the face of all the “I shoulds” I am forcing/cajoling/lovingly coercing/without much choice but some choicing sitting down to rest.
to write.
to be present.

You wouldn’t think – nay – I have no idea what you’d think, only what I think – I wouldn’t think it would be such a struggle for someone teaching what I teach to find time to rest to write to be but I bring this binary – this bind – this paradox – to class, like I always do only with more attention/intention because I know from talking to Nat(alie Goldberg) recently that she still struggles. But structure and commitment help a lot. I rail against too much structure but I know I need some and I need to be honest and sweet and sometimes trick myself into the very “doing nothing” that I try to teach others to do – meditate, go for walks, take photographs, write – all with no aim, no articles in mind, nothing but my mind in mind. Exploring the phenomenal exterior and interior worlds and the thin veil of “me” that resides in-between them, and how better could I do that than be that thin veil myself?

Now I am warm under Aviva and the afghan Stephanie made for us and also my trust that this was the right choice, despite my tense legs that want so much to rush rush rush we have a lot to do before we leave MIRIAM.

Listen you – we rush rush rush every time we leave, crushing in all we can. Why don’t we try a new way this time? No – no negotiating – we are trying a new way, sweetheart, please watch and listen and we’ll see what comes of it. then we can make an educated choice about which one we like better – rushing or resting – both you and I – together.

My tea is too sweet and now not hot but I drink it anyway. Every few lines I reach out and pet Aviva’s silky soft back and I mostly feel no lack. When I woke, I wanted to keep sleeping but knew it wasn’t a choice. It’s when I have a choice to keep sleeping that the veil gets confusing – that liminal state, likely a lot like death – I want to go back to sleep and I am more likely to choose it in that state. I need reasons each day to at least try being awake – I can always (and often do) nap later.

In the fascia, between the pleura of these thin skins/veils/lines between practice and life I continue to peruse/pursue what I teach and want to do – these teachings, these knowings. It’s not clean-cut work – no definite paycheck, no annual reviews unless I make them myself. Nothing is clear and yet everything is clear – much clearer than for friends and students who slave away at work they can’t relate to at all.

It’s with myself I am the most unclear. I work on more clarity but always I need to do that with compassion lest the clarity be a tool of the passionate slave driver within, the one who’s glad this page is almost done, so she can speed us back into gear. Shh…sweetheart. Shh. Rest a bit – not because we have to, but because we can.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE: 'nothing but my mind in mind' & 'how better than be that thin veil myself?'

    HARD LAUGH at 'have cat in my lap/cant'do anything!' (think it could work with have blanket in my lap?!) & that all caps admonisher-lady--'we have a lot to do before we leave MIRIAM! ' (she's so all-cappy!)

    How powerful to evoke this lady at the end, the one 'who's glad this page is almost done'

    and finally,
    rest not because we have to, but because we can.halleluyeah

    thank you