Saturday, June 23, 2012
Reality? Check. (Notes from TWATEOTU #6)
The days have been passing peacefully up here in my hermitage, my Last Place. It's been another of those times of limbo; a sort of holding pattern as I circle about waiting for the landing.
It's a strange and timeless land, this near-death place. Since coming here this last time I have had several neighbours come and go, to whence I know not in most cases. We mainly seem to die at night and very often certain classes of fellow inmate at the Ward At The End Of The Universe seem to choose to head home at the very last minute. To make sure they're really, really dying now and have the ambulance deliver them there so they can breathe their last at home. Since I first started visiting here, I'd say maybe one in five or six choose that sort of option. Not me, of course, as previously mentioned.
Despite there being so many beginnings and especially endings here, time however seems to stand apart so much of the ... time, now, for me at least.
Partly, we can put that down to my physical state. I am like treacle, glacially sticky as I ooze down my own mortal gravity well, as my gut and indeed my whole carcass (you'd think of carcass too, as in an abattoir setting, if you saw me in the actual flesh, as I do in the mirror) slows down and pulls inwards and inwards. The pain increases, and because I dislike too much pain, so does the dose of painkiller, and around and around we go. The drugs slow things further, eventually causing more pain. I recall that was always a key assumption of The Plan, and it seems to be working out more or less accordingly.
You might be tempted to think that I am deeply self-involved and meditative all the while, introspective and preparing for what lies ahead, doing all that spiritual 'work' that we all know we ought to do, and in part of course this is right, I am. But also, not so much.
The banality of simply drawing breath is also important. Watching the football, even though I can not know how my team will finish this year (tantalisingly top of the ladder as I write, hooray!), and even now falling into new mundane, oh-so-mortal habits of doing. I notice that I notice 3:00PM coming up on weekdays for example, for there is one of those SAHM-targetted cooking shows on then that I quite enjoy. It's just some guy who is pleasant company for half an hour and whose approach to cooking I quite enjoy. Irony? Who, me? But yeah, it's a habit that I have, to remember it's on and decide whether to watch. I usually do, unless there are visitors. And having done so a few times, I have formed a new attachment.
That is the way of just living though, isn't it? We attach to everything we touch, like toddlers learning the world through our mouths over and over, everything goes in and gets eventually, somehow, slotted home into some unthinking category. Not as if I have anything else I need to be doing at 3:00. But I have no fear of attachment left in me. I see them fall off me all the time, new and old alike. It's like all the glue on my exterior has been magically dissolved,and it takes only the merest waft of breeze for even clattering old monuments to the habitual and life-defining to slip away and disappear forever. Effortless, and not needful of my attention or time, for the main.
It would be disingenuous to pretend there wasn't also a habit of pressure on myself to do this 'right' though. I might use that time far better more consciously meditating (or praying), cleaning up my mind some more, doing the rituals and practises that pass for my own syncretic version of religiosity. I feel deeply the truth that so much of my lifespan has in many ways been a missed opportunity to be more prepared with death, and thus, more engaged with living a great life. Beat myself up? No, not any more. I have just decided that daytime cooking shows are as sacred a possibility as and spiritual practice. What my mind does while watching such TV pap is a most interesting thing to observe, and I do a lot of that, almost as an outsider. Just look back at me. The pressure, of course, is simply another tricky little way of my ego asserting its supposed right to existence as an 'other'. Silly bloody way to build a species if you ask me ;-)
I love that guy. Me, I mean, when I step outside of myself and look at me I love him, myself. It feels slightly different from when I feel it when I am more totally 'in' my body. There is something important there. It is also undeniably wonderful to leave a body which has chronic aches for a spell. Makes you appreciate the value of pain when you come back in, as well.
So, TV, DVDs, (I have over the last 6 months or so watched every episode ever made of Upstairs, Downstairs, would you believe, and loved every minute), reading when my eyes and hands let me do so easily and lately audiobooks. Music, so much music, but that blurs the lines - I use it very consciously for soulwork also. Plus messing about online. This is the filler I do to Occupy Mind Street, but unlike in the protest movement's sense of occupation I just like to give it (the mind) something to get distracted with so I can allow other things, the roiling cauldron of change underneath all this mighty mundanity, to bubble and steam as it needs to. To get out of my own way.
What I have found, is that stuff is getting done without my doing a thing. What I mean is I am aware that all this ravelled self, these billions of miles of threads that have woven the me I think I am today need to get loosened so help me slip out of the world here as peacefully as I can, which is really my only aim in life. I used to think that it would require my attention consciously, once upon a time. In fact, I thought such thoughts and held such beliefs incessantly for decades. But then I discovered that daytime cooking shows can also allow the space for enlightenment to creep in around the edges. That you don't even have to have good intentions; it just happens when you let yourself step aside.
And every now and then, to have a ramble like this to see things out in front of myself is just the ticket to checking this reality, that everything in life, and thus vis-a-vis death, is of equal importance. Check.
There are no major news announcements today, nothing of import to report, although there is plenty changed underneath, of which I will speak at some length when the pot next needs some attention. For right now, the simmering continues within, all energetic with heat and dense with mortality, all the while another full frame of me soars about, just circling, looking at this great wide landscape of me, of place, of time, and just letting go of looking for a landing place. For I know it is near, and that I shall recognize it when it hoves into view.
Peace and contentment upon you, dear reader, and thank you for your company this evening.