Writing Aside #20.
I like the idea of meditating in the morning. In fact, I did it every day for about 20 years. For some people, it’s a gentle way to make the transition from the chaos of dreams to the illusion of structure. But, for me, it’s like telling a dog that just woke up to lie down again. Got to let that puppy out to run around for a while.
After one hit of caffeine and a distracted look out the window, the ideas start bubbling up. To try to let them go or tamp them down—what Plato called creatus interruptus—seems not only like an exercise in futility, but oddly unnatural.
Often, it’s just a phrase or sentence that rises to the surface. Occasionally, it’s a big-time holographic vision that can take months to elaborate.
When I was younger, I’d try to keep my legs crossed and mind relatively still, while quietly sending those thoughts off into a kind of mnemonic holding tank. But now, if I don’t catch them while they’re flying by, I’ll never remember them. Or, more importantly, why the hell I thought they were so brilliant in the first place. Which, often, they’re not.
Eventually, my mind stops on its own to take a breather. Like a dog who, after relentlessly chasing a tennis ball or frisbee for half-hour or so, is panting so hard its gullet is hanging out. She may act like she wants more, but is actually quite content to collapse at your feet.
In the same way, after spending a while calmly drinking coffee and frenetically chasing ideas, my mind is actually quite content to collapse at my feet.
That would be a good time to meditate. Of course, I have been all along.
(With thanks to Bella & Milly.)Dec082010
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