OLD NOTEBOOKS: Take all my meds out and put them on the table one by one; colors and shapes like planets from another universe. Swallow, swallow, and swallow. Have to open my case from the journey to get here. Bend down to find the zip, forgetting about the baseball in the head… rumble, crash forwards against the inner front of the cranium – bash! It’s the headache that lives with me, okay, it’ll settle in a moment.
Zip open the case and it seems like it’s totally occupied with a flat pillow gradually inflating to its normal size – a small pillow but it’s soft and I have to have it everywhere I go because other pillows, I find, are cruel and lead to sleepless nights with headache problems all through the next day. Fling that on the bed. Inside the case it’s still a little cool from the aircraft luggage section. How strange. All these ironed T-shirts folded flat, enveloped and layered inside this cuboid capacity; memories contained, waiting to escape from the case. Find some nightclothes and put them on – balancing the baseball in the head. Get into bed; cold in North India, and the heating we have is inadequate, but there is always the HOT-WATER BOTTLE! Yay! Jiab calls it the hot-water bag and the connotations are strange, which she doesn’t realize of course so I find I’m unable to say why and it’s left as hot-water bag. Winter is so short here I keep forgetting to explain.
Get in and lay down. Baseball rolls to the back but I can feel the meds building a thin soundproof wall around it that means I can’t feel the pain. Staring up at the painted ceiling, the solitary light bulb of a rented house it has no shade – must do something about that. Thinking about this and all the other things I have to do, want to do, would like to do. Thinking about things I thought about already, last night, the familiarity of thinking about it. It’s just there; not attached to it, not caught by it and free enough to see it, like Dolphins diving down and up to the surface and down below again. It’s not the content of thought; it’s the context, the awareness of thinking, the IS-ness of it. Watch the in-breath, the out-breath…
What’s going on here? I try to be in present time and the mind goes quiet. This quietness means the “now” just comes along by itself. It’s about the awareness of it – the human condition, investigating this…the meds are having an effect, the pain is gone. The Teaching on sila (virtue) is something that makes me feel good about myself, there’s the sense of being sure I’m on the right track. It means I can focus clearly, get things properly sorted out. Now I can close my eyes and get comfortable, thought processes that maintain themselves hesitantly, and other things without substance appear and fade away. If I don’t reach out for the next thought, there’s nothing there. The darkness is filled with light, moonbeams just at the edge of vision. “We cannot see we are filled with God because we are filled with a concept of God” That reality is beyond description. Best to leave it undescribed.
“The same intelligence that grows trees from seeds,
that lets birds fly,
that waves the ocean
and gives birth to new stars – that same Intelligence
also breathes your breath, beats your heart,
and heals your wounds.”
Reading this felt like wandering around in your head. You are a very poetic writer.
Aha! welcome to the interior of my head, I just found you wandering around in here. Thanks for these kind words…
🙂 I wrote a poem about nothing. It’s scheduled for Tuesday I think. I mention you as my inspiration.
Great! I’ll look for it then
Yes, without meds, it’s something I look forward to sometime in the future…
a google search turned up the quote from a book Annie wrote “The afterlife of Billy Fingers:…”
Some amazing shots over on your site. I found the google ref, thanks, I’m looking for the person whose blog it was I first learned about the book. It must have been someone on my favourites list. Thanks again for looking…
thanks for your appreciation.
Beautiful quote. And as always, beautiful post. ❤️
Thanks Lin, I like the line, ‘that waves the ocean’, interesting use of the verb: to wave. To some extent the quote influenced the latter part of the post…
Very nice display, settling into being present to all that arises 🙂
Yes, ‘being present to all that arises’. that sums it up thanks Pieter
Trust in the prana T. 🙏
Thanks Val, interesting, I hadn’t thought about that; Udana Prana particularly…
If you are practicing yoga, I would allow the prana to move in all directions rather than focusing on the upward movement. The head may need to release energy. xo
Thanks Val that’s important and I hadn’t thought of it – something I think I could do with my limited knowledge of yoga. Thanks…
On second thoughts, could you give me some basic guidelines about allowing the prana to move in the way you describe; recommend a book? I have a series of movements I do to help chronic back pain. Please drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d be grateful.
A number of eminently quotable sentences here. Life in the raw brought to the page with great skill.
Trying to describe something in a way that’s acceptable which is in fact mostly unacceptable and I work my movements around it unless it’s unavoidable. Then it’s possible (for an instant) to step through the pain…
Feeling for you, assisted by your evocative description.
Really loved this post. Envy your ability to tame the thoughts. I am giving up on ever being able to tame my wild mind. In a low ebb of consciousness. Right now, listening to the 40 mph winds of our near record blizzard, 24 inches. Have been uneasy all day. Gone are the days of delighting in the beauty of the silent white. The years have focused the fears. People have died today in this blizzard. People are flooded. It is the misery of being the person but I am trapped there. Sorry to digress. A great post!
Hi Ellen, about taming the wild mind, if it’s wild, it’s wild but it helps if you constantly note to yourself in some other place that this is so; it is wild. Everything ceases. then you note that it has passed; it’s not wild. Maybe it’s devastated, totally catastrophic, if it’s like that, note it down in another corner of the mind. But I think you know aleady about ‘noting’ or ‘noticing’ I just wanted to emphasize how good this is, kind of duplicating or summarising everything that’s going on. This is how it is for me, I live in the world of hindsight, and things are usually pretty quiet, simple schedule of dealing with the pain and then getting on with things. Thanks for dropping in again, sorry to hear about your blizzard, maybe it’s a time of hunkering down, animals hibernate…