Switzerland: Just before the storm started I was having this problem with the internet upload speed; trying to get a post into Publish but Mbps too low; let’s see, okay try again; waiting for it to come up with the WordPress site to click on the upload button, maybe it’ll do it this time. Nope… stuck again and I start to take it personally, caught in thinking this is ‘bad.’ And, pretty soon, it gets blown out of proportion, turns into a small crisis, like a fire burning down the house. The intensity of feeling is incredible. This is what a very low internet speed can do.
Am I in withdrawl? Focus for a moment, just there at the desk, feet flat on floor, watch the breath, stop the mind, and suddenly I’m in an empty space, surprised to discover it was that quick! And without the wandering thoughts, there is just silence! Just the physical awareness of the body, comfortably seated with this inactive thought process… I could hear the storm really loud around this time; lightning and thunderous bangs and crashes across the sky – a perception of vast distance.
It’s like someone in the floor above has gone berserk, pushing over huge pressed steel cabinets and metal desks, metal oil drums, BOOOOM, BADAAANG, and a small silence in between, then the echo of it returning from a long way away in the immense space of night sky. Still sitting at the desk in the violence of the heavens and the room is brightly illuminated by a flash of lightning very close, followed immediately by another overwhelming CRASH. The lights go out, and for a moment I’m thinking the sound is the bricks and masonry of the building tumbling down.
I fall to the floor in a crouched position to protect the head and then up from there quickly out to the front room, and exit by jumping over the balcony from our place on the seventh floor? No, can’t do that, look here and there, no damage I can see. The flap of wings as birds roosting on the balcony rail are stirring a bit, but they’re not really getting in a tizz about this. If the buildings were to fall to the ground, no problem, they’ve got wings and can just fly away.
Back into the room, waken up the computer and I get a connection right away, loading completed immediately. And that’s the story of how I got this post done in a room full of flashing lights like a Press event taking place and uploaded no problem – harvesting ambient electricity? The sounds of war and bombing raids; the noise of it was colossal, somebody said later it’s because of the Jura mountains reflecting the sound and the lake resonating like a huge sheet of metal; an area of about 500 square kilometres.
The first noble truth says simply that it’s part of being human to feel discomfort. We don’t even have to call it suffering anymore; we don’t even have to call it discomfort. It’s simply coming to know the fieriness of fire, the wildness of wind, the turbulence of water, the upheaval of earth, as well as the warmth of fire, the coolness and smoothness of water, the gentleness of the breezes, and the goodness, solidness, and dependability of the earth. Nothing in its essence is one way or the other. [Pema Chodron]