11:32 so many words I’ve not released unto the page. Which page? Which blog? Private or public? My life seems at times made entirely of words, though I know it shouldn’t be. But it could always be worse. Anyone who studies the science of addiction will soon learn that we’re all addicted to something at some level; upgrading addictions and stepping outside comfort zones makes the difference in a productive life. Also, giving over of one’s Self. Allowing creativity, and not fear nor competitive strategy, to reign.
For some reason this blog always feels like home, perhaps because it was created from a seed of genuine selflessness, where I just allowed some kind of muse to speak to me and act through me, and so I usually feel free with my words here, and not like they have to be something to someone in particular. My other blog, Bloomwords, was enacted along similar lines, but I most often cared far too much about outcomes; I hoped to “become a writer” one day, and I perhaps hoped that blog would become the vehicle that would drive me towards it, hopefully in the company of many other like-minded wordy souls. Little did I know I was already a writer, until I was quite far along in it; suddenly the vehicle was no longer a vehicle but just another manifestation, yet with this remaining aura of ambition hanging about it; and my loneliness finally eradicated or having reached full bloom; its mission was now unclear.
I was in such a horribly dark place several weeks ago, punctuated by small rays of light here and there, but generally feeling like I was suffocating from fear and absence of hope. Some crazy anxiety attack which I now look back upon and think, what on earth was it all about? How could I have thought this way? How could I have bent reality and deformed it so in my mind? And then another part of me thinks that for that blip of time, and that blip of time alone, I saw things as they truly were, like when Neo gets unplugged from the Matrix, or perhaps more like the part of the movie just before it, where he sees the chains of 1’s and 0’s on his computer screen. If so, in that instance I realized the perhaps-awful fact that I myself in the end wanted no unplugging. I could not bear it and I had developed no fighting skills. I could run or I could hide. Or I could stand and be killed.
When I’m not allowing myself to be overrun by dark thoughts of the World and its possible future, I love life and have ultimate faith in the World, as well as in this little crust of parasites upon its skin, called humanity. I don’t think the world is in any danger. I think we might be as a species, and as individuals, but not the world.
Have you ever seen George Carlin speak of the Universe wanting plastic? I love George Carlin.
Don’t get me wrong. I was raised by environmentalist parents and I believe we each must do our part on a personal level. At the park, I pick up garbage left behind by others and put it in the bins. I don’t curse the litterers, for I have been one myself at times, mostly in my partying teen years. I just pick it up and remain thankful for the towns’ organizers who have placed the bins and maintain them; and I admire the cleanliness in my wake. Here in the French countryside, very few of our neighbours recycle because there is no recycling pickup in the rural areas. We have to collect it in bins of our own and then drive a few kilometres away, to sort it into huge containers with confusing signage and ridiculously small openings that barely a container can fit through, depositing items one at a time.
In Canada, at least where our family once lived, recycling was in full swing, expected by and of nearly everybody, systems in place that made perfect sense. For example, all booze cans and bottles were priced with an included recycling fee, 10 cents at the time, which was refundable only by returning the cans or bottles. Anyone could return cans or bottles found on the streets or in the parks and get money for them from any booze-selling store. Thus homeless folks, and others who cared to do so, could earn a bit of a living by cleaning up the town in this manner. In BC, Canada you will see shabbily-dressed folks, sometimes alcoholics themselves, pushing grocery carts full of collected cans toward the nearest beer-and-wine store or liquor store for refund.
I used to work at a beer-and-wine store in my university days. In BC, stores can’t sell booze without a special license; this means that you don’t buy booze at the grocery store, as you do here in France, but rather at the beer and wine stores or the liquor stores (each has a different type of license). Anyway, first thing in the morning (we opened at 09:00) would come the alcoholics to buy their six-pack of cheapest beer (it was called Pilsner, and back then it was CAD$7.99 for a six-pack, if I remember right). After them would arrive the “bums” (as most of my co-workers called them) who would come in with grocery carts full of smelly cans.
I was a cashier, as most of the female employees were in that place, and there was always a “cooler guy” on duty who worked in the huge cooler behind the store stocking cold beer and wines. His job was also to take the return cans after I’d given over the cash for them to the client.
The shop had a former alcoholic working the cooler, some days, and oddly, he was the angriest of all the cooler guys, about the dirty cans. He would sometimes come out from the back, and fly into a rage, telling the “bums” that the cans would not be accepted unless they’d first been rinsed.
I found that the “bums” were sometimes the kindest folks, the most humble, never “hitting on” me nor the other female workers that I knew of, but only grateful for the passing conversation, many smiling widely without teeth and generally making my day more sunny.
Blinking cursor as I sit here in heaven at my desk near the tree top, and looking at the drawing of the same tree, which my son made when he was home sick the other day. How do these stories arise and come out? It’s funny, it’s like magic, it needs no explaining. But it’s not what I meant to write.
One blogger in our sobriety crew here on WP, named Bryan B, publishes excerpts from AA material, and I noticed that at the end of them he or his quote mentions the importance of physical recovery.
My own recovery from this recent awful psychological blackness, which I finally pushed my way out of like struggling through some terrifying cloak, was certainly through physical means as much as intellectual or spiritual. I made up my mind that I would become well, since wallowing in the depths of some self-imposed doom would do no good to anyone; then I forced myself to do my physical exercises every day. I actually didn’t write much, compared to most days, but I did read, finally only things that seemed to bring me a sense of calm, and I did do my calisthenics and my yoga sun salutation and daily walk/run. I also practiced the Heart Sutra, which I have never fully learned till now. This of course did not take much time in my days, probably in total not more than 30 minutes to an hour; but was merely made a priority instead of a possible afterthought.
There are so many ways we can take pleasure in life… ways that need very little money nor even time. My kids play loud music on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, I dance around the kitchen like a freak between cooking or cleaning; dancing is a wildly perfect way for me to tap into physical joy. The more I can tap into physical joy, the healthier I get in mind and spirit.
This morning, a run with son Y in the rain-damped green and grey, then exercises on the grass and on the patio, very simple, no mats nor equipment needed. Then in the plunge pool; yes even in the cool grey fall morning; unheated and deliciously cold, filling with blown-down brown-and-golden leaves; it’s a pleasure to skim them out with the broken old net, along with perished flies; noticing the lobed or oval or tear-drop shapes of oak and apple and pear and linden, beside beetle and mosquito and even one small green dragonfly. Every moment can be a meditation, not judged nor evaluated, only noticed and delighted in, free of “perfection” and free from “sin.”
“..all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness; their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death, no Being no Non-being, no Defilement no Purity, no Increasing no Decreasing.”
— “The Insight that Brings us to the Other Shore” New Heart Sutra translation by Thich Nhat Hanh
I hope you have enjoyed this ramble from my now-peaceful-feeling heart. I am so grateful for your presence; it’s a joy to me, and makes it so much more fun than writing for myself alone.
Sending true love,
* * *
Image: Big Tree and Patio See by my son Z
Edit 2019-10-20: though I made the title 6+21 (6 months + 21 days), I was wrong again on the count. Should have been 6+23. 🙄 Please, Tree, let my math skills improve. 😁🙏