Friday, September 13, 2013

exercises in silence

it started back in 2003, i'm not exactly sure when, but i had read the artist's way, and i was reading a lot of merton then. i did my deprivation, per julia cameron, but it wasn't enough, not reading, so i took it a step further. i stopped talking, i stopped listening to music, watching tv, all of it. a total technology and sound blackout.
i remember that first night like it just happened yesterday. sitting awake all night in a glider, rocking back and forth while my mind was lit up and buzzing like times square. that was probably the longest night of my life. i wasn't prepared for detoxing from technology.
when that week ended, i spoke with another artist, a poet whom i knew from the dallas poetry circuit and told him,
i couldn't believe the fear. it was unprecedented.
he had recently completed the way with a group and he said he went directly to the movie theatre after the group meeting and the deprivation ended. it's hard, being deprived of comfort thus.
though now, i employ eis to another end.
the impending stuff that is filling up my calendar, mind you all of it worthwhile, and stuff i want to be doing. nothing i would not willingly do, am not willingly doing. but it's a lot. a psychic drain, if you will.
so i am allowing my life to fall into a cadence, and i realized, if i don't protect my headspace, who will. i need to carve out some space for me to ground. i know what to do, i know how to do it. it is just making it and myself a priority enough to honor the need in me for some quiet time.
mind you, i am very zen in that i believe anything can serve as meditation. so, i left yoga last week knowing i would do an eis from 9-12 today, and if i cleaned the house, so be it. if i sat there and stared at a wall, fine. whatever i needed to do, i would do.
i got up earlier than i wanted to, started the laundry, and made breakfast for my baby.
when nine am rolled around, i shut off everything. at one point i even shut off the fan since it was making a whirring sound. i did everything on my list, and then some.
in silence.
it wasn't that i was doing that much different. it was just a clear space for me to hear myself think. or not to think, as the case may be.
i thought a lot. but i don't stop myself, i try to focus on the positive, but i let the negative come and go, like the waves on the shore, and when they roll out, i marvel at all that has been uncovered. there is so much, so very much in the recesses of the mind, and when given time and space to be, nothing but good can happen.
and so, nearing the end of my three hours, my cat met me on the porch. i served him a meal. i had a meal and mindfully ate. rejoicing in every bite, the hot enchiladas and the cold pico de gallo. it was all so good.
and at three pm, as i reached for the familiar remote, to block out the silence, i set it back down. content.

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