POSTCARD#476: I wake in the morning, fuzzy headedness, the sound of the leaves in the trees rustling and whispering together… blustery winds. Dark sky out there, it’s going to rain. Small birds dash around searching for the place where small birds take shelter. The rain will be heavy, lasting for hours/days. It’s the season of green leaves sprouting in trees, hedges fill out and enlarge, and it’s a novelty for me even though I’ve lived here for many years. I come from the North of Scotland where weather events are not so overwhelmingly generous in such an abundance of plant growth.
Into the shower and pressurized water massages the *headache I live with – lulled into a relaxed state, mesmerized by the sensation. I am a sensitive being these days, sharp penetrating light frequencies and high pitched squealing sounds activate the headache and it can take some time to recover. Usually I have to take extra meds which cushion the pain but shift me out there… living on the edge.
Step out of the shower and I’m deafened by the downpour on the roof. Sensory mechanisms function without my involvement. There’s just an alertness, waiting for things to arrive in consciousness. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and cognitive functioning held by this immense sound. An all-inclusive experience of awareness itself.
I’ve learned how to see pain in the context of the 4 Noble Truths and focus on ‘The Cause’ of it which I cannot control, but can stay in neutrality; in that small space that’s neither here nor there. Knowing this brings it all to a standstill for a moment, and this is how it is, the awareness of it, simply that.
Stories of past and future arise and the narrative requires me to ‘believe’ in the story before it begins. I’m hovering on the brink of what it could be, still contained inside that little space that’s neither here nor there… do I want to get swept away by an engaging story when I’m quite comfortable being here? It’s telling me I have to get into it, become it, *bhāva,
No thanks, I’m ok here in the space where it hasn’t happened yet, looking into that place in the mind where unfinished stories usually reside, and find instead a curious stretched-out present moment. The strangeness of it, wary and watchful… a trembling awakenedness of an immensity, just this.
Mindfulness of non-becoming. See how that feels here under the roof, with the deafening sound of rain, the distractedness of it, the here-and-now of it… like a nonstop, fierce applause, forever and always in present time, ‘the uncreated consciousness’. I’m merging with the sound, headache hiding in that place where headaches take shelter.
Stormy gusts intrude through doors and windows passing through downstairs rooms and corridors leading to other rooms and through the open doors and windows of neighbors’ houses, I can hear their voices, hear a door slam, see somebody rushing to take in the last of the laundry hanging on the line. Tall trees bending, branches dancing in the wind.
*title inspired by a discussion with Steve T.
*headache: Post Herpetic Neuralgia, Right Occipital Nerve. Seven years now and it’s not as bad as it was, maybe I’m used to it, higher threshold/tolerance *bhāva: In Thai Buddhism, bhava is interpreted as the habitual or emotional tendencies which leads to the arising of the sense of self, as a mental phenomenon.