“It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is” ~ William Butler Yeats
“When time is reduced to linear progress, it is emptied of presence.” ~ John O’Donohue
“There were timelines branching and branching, a mega-universe of universes, millions more every minute. Billions? Trillions? The universe split every time someone made a decision. Split, so that every decision ever made could go both ways. Every choice made by every man, woman, and child was reversed in the universe next door.” ~ Larry Niven
Cold air is the news. At 5 AM, in El Prado, New Mexico, the air temperature is a delightful 44º. At least I take delight in it. It is my contention that all warm weather all the time is harmful to the soul, because it is unnatural. I will not elaborate here because I am in no mood to rant. Nor will I explain why I am even thinking about the soul at 5 AM on a workday. Suffice it to say that I also brush my teeth before I go out into society. In psychotherapy yesterday we got to talking about what I called a “safe room”, some subjective space where one can draw back from the toxic things that happen to anyone who leaves home on occasion. What precipitated that discussion was my panic attack of the previous weekend. I feel proud to say that I took action as soon as I realized that the attack had commenced, and I took that sucker to the ground. To the ground, buddy. The trouble there is that in such an aborted attack the essential elements of the attack already have their hooks in you by the time you take action. The attack begins with a rush of cortisol throughout the body. Once done it can’t be undone. What you are dealing with after that happens is . . . well, it is unavoidable. That’s me today. The major after-effects have passed the ‘dull roar’ level and are settling nicely within the bounds of a purring state of mind. Remember that cats sometimes purr when they feel ill. Purring is not always about contentment. In fact I would venture to say that purring is a way of getting there, of settling into contentment at all, ever. Or at least acceptance. Now, I speak as a man who got optimum sleep last night. To accomplish that I had to take a late afternoon, early evening nap, wake up long enough to feed that cat and close the chickens and the warrior turkey in the coop, then check in with the national news, only to find out that we are all still neck-deep in toxic emotional sludge. As a people, as a nation. This ‘deep shit’ level of things is indeed voluntary, to some degree. Soooo, the yuck of the news chased me away pretty quick, and I had better use of my time in mind, so I went back to sleep and slept straight through to the alarm. Other than the therapy session from noon to one I did nothing practical all day. Intentionally! In the past I have called such a process ‘profound rest’. But these days, with a fiend in the White House, I look at it pretty much from a hygienic point of view, getting that deep rest is on a parr with brushing my teeth. The yuck of American life in these times still goes subliminal with just about anyone. The despair filters on down to the marketplace. Nobody has to talk about it, but all are living it. Without further elaboration I will nobly defend my need for extra rest, and will admit that I do not consider it to be an indulgence to get it. This brings me full circle. I have to go to work today. I will be the introvert that no way no how wanted to leave home. This is where the ‘safe room’ returns. That room is in essence the very soul I mentioned in the beginning of this post. It is Jung’s capital S Self. Connect, ride free within the safe space. The rest is just weather blowing through. Should anything disrupt that peaceful center – and it will – be prepared to pull yourself back into that space at your earliest convenience. These are my sage words to myself as I head for the shower. And to brush my teeth.
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.