Tasha’s (writing group facilitator/teacher) soothing voice sends us into deep meditation, a cool quiet peaceful place guiding us to look outward and write what we or our character sees.
If only I could step out of my life and into this place of peace. Block out reality and just focus on the birds and the rain and the snow and the fog.
I swear I did.
Feet on the floor. Eyes closed. Music off. Deep breaths. Doesn’t work. Not now, not today, and not in any near tomorrow.
Reminded of when I began yoga – committing to practice and perfecting handstands and painful pigeons and all the dogs and crows and trees – I could do it all, or try to. Except savansaha. Corpse pose. Quiet and still.
I swear I did.
Lying still, telling each joint and appendage and muscle to relax, one by one. I could do that, but quieting the mind is an exercise that alludes me. Back then, I’d think about laundry and kids’ physicals and what is that smell in my van? I’d think about my work obligations – and my kid’s and my husband’s – and wonder what I forgot and where. I wanted a pad of paper near my yoga mat so I could jot it all down, knowing full well I’d forget yet again by the time the ohms were ohm-ed and namastes namaste-ed.
I swear I did.
And I tried the Calm app and the MindBody app and the soothing music and deep breathing but as soon as the mind is clear, the to-do list start barking like a yappy dog with a ball on the wrong side of the fence.
Same today. Except bigger worries and more guilt.
I wish I could turn off my life, even for just a couple minutes and feel the glow of the light come from within, and shine outside on the world all around. But right now, today, this day, and likely tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that, there is nothing to light the way forward.
Instead, I fumble in the dark, feeling my way along the hall, like when I was a little girl searching for a light switch in a foreign hallway at Grandma’s house, the corridor so dark I am afraid and don’t recognize the rugs under my feet or the bumps on the wallpaper as I feel my way and just keep moving forward hoping soon, to find what I’m looking for.
Clarity of the mind is more of a game of whack-a-mole: Doctors. So many doctors. Triage info, don’t tell mom. You gotta tell mom. I can’t tell mom. Denver daughter coming home. To visit. That’s heartbreaking – to visit home. But natural. And healthy. At least someone is healthy.
Google linguine and clam sauce. Tell mom. Get wood. Mammogram – no deodorant. Groceries. Pick up dog shit. Lawyers. Invoice client. Change sheets. Meals on wheels tomorrow. Financial affidavit. What doews that even mean? Don’t forget. Text sister. Second opinion. Refill script. Call sister’s doctor. Demand home health care. Clean. Get clams. And steak. And wine. Need medical proxy. Meet daughter’s boyfriend. Smile. Be happy. Pay bills. Windshield washer fluid. Breathe. Cook. Fake it. Just breathe.
Every morning I make a cup of coffee, pull open the curtains, play some morning good-mood music, and look out the window and watch the birds bouncing on and off the feeder. Queued up on bare branches waiting their turn. Blue Jays are bullies. Morning doves are passive. Finches and cardinals and red-headed woodpeckers. I google their images and try to learn their names but there is no more room in my brain. Still, I love this time. The time before reality wakes up and my world starts spinning.
I sit and watch sometimes even before the birds are awake, I watch the moon sink and sun rise. Coffee smells like home. And safety. And him. And I sit and watch and wait. Sometimes for 30 seconds. Sometimes for 30 minutes. And that is enough for me to do it all over again today. And tomorrow. And the tomorrow after that.
And that is me trying.
I swear it is.
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[NYWC prompt: 2020 Tasha: meditation, bathing in light, looking out window. what do you see?]