Staring at the screen… don’t know what to write, lacking all inspiration or outrage or energy. Maybe a sugar rush would help… tramping up and down the stairs surreptitiously snatching Hersey Kisses from the frig after spending five minutes on Spell Check trying to spell surreptitiously. Up and down the stairs… reminds me of my dismay at moving into a house with stairs to a second floor and Arlene assuaging my reluctance by replying, “what stairs, I see a built-in tread mill.” Hmm, could be a piece about perspective determining how we view life. Nah, too big a stretch.
Thought about this being the anniversary of our first year in the boonies. Title: “It’s been a year since we left the city, but the city hasn’t left me.” Pretty good lead into the dangers of feeling isolated, losing interest in the vibe that makes life exciting… sitting around watching grass grow. Speaking of which, I’m really concerned about our Zoysia grass losing out to the crab grass and dandelions… will have to water more often… gasp, what is happening to me!
There’s always inspiration in reading today’s news… new horrors from the Goth supreme court, Dems eating their tail, a learned treatise on the difference between the hijab, niqab and burka, maybe a local jab at the policemen’s union jerk-president… but wait, I cancelled the Chicago Tribune when it became a mimeograph. And the Sun-Times doesn’t carry any news!
Maybe I should go back to the premise, ‘how to cheat death by living life to the fullest.’ Hard to do if the only thing I’m full of is breakfast Crispix, two cups of French Roast and a serious thought of adding a morning nap to the night’s snooze. Howard, that’s not how you set an example! What about having purpose… a reason to get out of bed… living in the present… meditating and finding peace within… being one with the universe?
I know, I know, I know. But honestly, sometimes all those affirmations and guiding lights seem like threadbare cliches; words of wisdom stuffed into a fortune cookie (If you see your glass half empty, pour it into a smaller glass). I’ve mouthed them so often, maybe they’ve turned into a script I’m following, a performance piece devoid of heartfelt emotion, nothing more than a Steve Martin smug shrug (A day without sunshine is like, you know, night). And who cares what I have to say, anyway?
The answer is, nobody, because the blues are sung solo. Which is the real point of this rambling screed. When the waves of despair roll in, no guru can build you a levee to contain them. And if you try and fight them, they will drown you.
The trick is to mold all the affirmations and mantras into a proverbial boogie board and surf the wave by seeing it as emotional energy, riding it rather than being pulled under by its force. Instead of fighting it to keep from being dragged under or ducking it and trying to hold your breath long enough to have it pass over, use all those techniques that have become cliches because they work. Spend time in nature, meditate, deep breathing, play with your dog, do Qigong – and choose to surf the wave and ride it safely to shore as its force dissipates and deposits you safely on the beach.
That’s what I did to get out of the funk that had me staring at the screen more comatose than conscious. I surfed that giant wave of inertia sitting on my zafu cushion, understanding that our happiness is not contingent upon external circumstances; it comes from our own inner attitude toward the ever recurring ‘waves’ that churn throughout our life.