An Ordinary Day

Last night I fell asleep on the shakti mat. E. says I snore when that happens. Hardly the image that I’m ( — uh — not) striving for with my meditation practice.

I read textbooks for another two hours before bed then woke thinking about work. But I felt refreshed none-the-less. They weren’t stressful work thoughts, but energizing ideas. It’s been a long time since I felt this way about my job. And I can’t point to any reason for things to have changed.

Something has lifted. Even in this darkness.

We ran this morning in the cold, then I did my morning yoga practice and meditation. It never fails: 20 minutes into the asana work, I lie down for a bridge and Leonard takes it as a cue to lie with his head on my face. His chin on my lips. I think maybe he thinks he is doing me a favor: indirectly pinning my shoulders to the floor so I get an even deeper arch as I lift my hips toward the ceiling. But it could be that he is just being a jerk. Sucking out my breath like a demon cat.

To be honest, these kinds of mornings make me nervous. This “high”, for no reason. This clear-headed, spacious sense of time and equanimity. This “lightness” that threatens like a helium balloon that I may lose my grip on.

This familiar sweet-spot before mania.

I haven’t written about bipolar tendencies for a very long time, and didn’t intend to today: what thoughts come, when one questions the present.

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.ALBERT CAMUS

They say “Trust is earned.” But I am thinking that trust is also learned. Finding this middle path between distrust and blind trust, and knowing that staying in the moment doesn’t require trust at all: it requires relinquishing the fear that is rooted in thoughts of the future. I can give all my attention to the moment and spare myself disappointments. It also requires giving up my hopes.

It’s about being a realist: hopes and fears are both imaginary.

“Trust me, everything will be okay.”

“Trust me, everything changes: stay in this moment and breathe in through the nose.”

I know far less than I’d like to about Albert Camus. And about Dharma. I’ve often considered setting up a structured plan for investigation, but at the moment, I rather like how ideas wander into my field of perception and juxtapose themselves with one another.

I believe this is also a kind of beginner’s mind.

In happy baby pose — Leonard having given up on me, and stretched himself over the sofa — I notice the chandelier’s shadow stretching over the ceiling. Fading, as the sun rises and shines through the glass doors.

I consider the concept of generosity, and it juxtaposes in my mind with equanimity, and I visualize a natural spring and a basin of water. I consider the wastefulness of a stagnant pool. I consider a water clock and decide I want one for Christmas.

I don’t think I am doing this right.

So for today, I’m giving up on expectations. I sit here with a cup of coffee, a white computer screen, and an inarticulate image for a poem that’s going nowhere.

I’ll sit until it’s time to catch the train.