Friday Fictioneers – Martha’s Mind

Dale Rogerson

Photo courtesy – Dale Rogerson

Martha’s Mind

Word count:  100

 

Martha inhaled deeply, held it momentarily then exhaled slowly.

She repeated this twice before settling into practice.  It was a warm evening with low humidity so she took the opportunity to meditate on the back deck while the mosquitoes were preoccupied.

The sun warmed Martha’s face; eased her frown lines, and smoothed her crow’s feet.  The cushion beneath cupped her bottom with ease which promoted a relaxed attentiveness.

Bird evensong and faraway car sounds floated by for her consideration but she paid them no mind.

For thirty minutes, Martha simply was.  Nowhere to go.  No-one to be.  Nothing to do.

Advertisements

The Way Forward

I have spent years in the wilderness.  I found a clearing a few years ago but it did not lead to any sort of opening or escape.  On more than one occasion, I thought that I could bolt through the forest to find my way out but that proved to be futile.

Now is my time, and I have found the path.

I speak metaphorically, of course.  The clearing I speak of was discovered when I began the practice of meditation in 2013.  For some, tuning in to self cannot come from simply sitting and being, but I fell into it with ease.  I understood that chatter was okay; that it was fine to set an intention but at the end of each practice, nothing need be accomplished.

It just is.  I can just.be.

Currently, there are major shifts in this soul’s life, so I returned to practice.  I came home to the sangha and was welcomed as if by family.  It’s been only two weeks since I picked up where I left off but the clarity and stillness cultivated long ago never left.  Just like seedlings in a field; they have been dormant.  The only thing they needed was for me to notice.  To provide awareness.

My path ahead is uncertain.  I know to some degree what I do and do not want.

My practice will help me through.  And forward.

Welcome home.

lost_soul_evolurtion_by_nataly1st-d34sqs9The thing I loved to do became a burden. It was time to push it behind for a while, let it curl up like a tired cat to sleep. In time, it will have been rejuvenated, will have shorn its tiresome aura, its toxicity, and I will be able to love it once more.

Now I can focus on the spirits that matter. I can support, and be there. It’s coming home and it’s most welcome.

I brought out my cushion (which is actually a giant stuffed monkey) and got down into myself for the first time in a very long while.  Almost immediately after the timer bell rang, fat words drifted up to say Hello and the smile on my face stretched from ear to ear.  It was wonderful, and so reassuring to confirm that I am always there even if the ego drags me this way and that.

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies. All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave goodbye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, No Death, No Fear

My husband says I am an enigma. He looks at me quizzically. “You’re intelligent,” he says, “and yet, you believe in chakras and stuff.” I love him; he is the practical, realistic one. I am the intuitive one, and a believer of the teachings of many spiritual guides. We balance each other, my husband and me. Eleven years of mawwage tomorrow and how fucking wonderful it is to be right where we are with each other. After the rocky slopes; the slippery slopes, and the glaciers of silence, we are the most connected right now.

Welcome home.

The Game of Life

When I was a kid, my family frequently played board games. A favorite was Scrabble, and later on Upwords. For those games, my Mum kept the letter tiles in a black felt bag; all we needed to do was throw the tiles in, hold the top closed and shake it vigorously. When it came time for each of us to replenish our letters on the rack, we’d just dive in and grab what we needed without peeking.

Life is sort of like that; and has been like that of late.surreal-photos-0

I was setting my tiles out on the massive, traveling board of Life; connecting, re-thinking, reconnecting, making good or making bad words, with more or less points when the Universe picked up the board, folded it nearly in half and tipped all of my tiles into the bag. It happens, I suppose. The Universe looked around nonchalantly while giving it a good shake then plopped it back into my hand and left with a smile.

Nothing traumatic had happened, just a sense of crawling to a stop with dissatisfaction in the passenger seat. So, I took a step back with my bag o’ tiles in hand and busied myself with other, less personal things. The bag was always there though, clack-a-lack shaking in the background; a reminder that soon, sooner, soonest I’ll need to return and place my tiles in a more pleasing manner.

How unwriterly of me to step away from my imagination. I might be crucified by some diehards with their pointed fingers; “You must write every day!” I can hear the cry.

How soulless of me to step away from the cushion for so long that I’ve forgotten the last time I came face to face with my essence.

The platform that helped to shape me over the past while is going through a necessary crumble, and a change is due. Perhaps it’s a reset; the letters are present, after all. I’m about ready to reach into the void and arrange them just so on my board. Ready to return to the stomping ground of my soul and look upon it with fresh eyes, and create some new crisp, thing.

Slowly, slowly, play the Board Game of Life.

 

 

Resting.

It used to be that I’d pull one of my boss’ chairs askew and sit in the dark inner office to meditate. Or I’d find fifteen minutes when I got home before picking up the kids to sit and be still on the bedroom carpet; my fat kitty’s presence palpable beside me and the view of the woods known beyond closed eyelids.

I haven’t meditated in a long while; the humdrum of daily life clawed me back into waking, getting ready, bus stops, work, shopping, exercising, cooking, homework, dinner, cleaning, housework and now rehearsals. And, somewhere in there a modicum of sleep. It’s shameful to say that I have no time to meditate because there is always time; time is here, time is now. I spend hours alone at work; I could easily practice but I don’t.

Like a mental, gentle flick of the wrist, the idea is often dismissed.  The irony being that I won’t truly discover why I balk unless I investigate.

I miss nature; her sweet warmth and soul-rejuvenating properties. I miss the Sangha. The awful weather combined with my schedule has made it an impossible venture. I miss introspection. Real, deep, swimming-in-your-soul searching.

Perhaps I’m hibernating; resting while I coast on what I know, with my foot off the soul accelerator. Continuing to abide by my truth; offering lovingkindness to all I meet, addressing emotion, and accepting thought. Getting by satisfactorily until I feel ready to go swimming again. And all the while, aware of that tricky voice which speaks up with reprimands about one’s lack of ‘doing.’

1233601_10151583637387587_380354574_n

Ever Present

Having been so preoccupied lately, or fatigued, or stressed to the point of tears, I had carved out no time for meditation.  There were moments to take a dip down but fleeting times they were:  At the beach, when I closed my eyes to become aware of the waves (I am water, not the wave) or the wisps of conversations of the people around us and the squeals of small children.  Certain sounds that some might think would not be conducive to meditation but it was really just about being in the moment.  Other times I took a few seconds to really take in the scenery.  Or sometimes I’d sink down into myself while folding laundry, or cooking dinner.  Just to sort of keep going.  To keep in touch with self.

I read this article a few minutes ago and I was reminded (again) that once you discover the deeply spiritual side of yourself, it can never be banished.  It is ever present, always there, like a Pandora’s Box for the good or a can of butterflies.  It can never be closed.  You may have to put it to one side for a while at times but you will heed the reminders it sends to you when you’ve neglected it for too long.

I came to the door of awakening in the Spring of 2012 but did not walk across the threshold until November 2012.  Since then, I’ve discovered in trickles more truths about myself, from big significant ones that can give a jolt like electricity to the little ones that make me smile and huff at the same time.

How content I feel today.  And smiling.  Safe and secure in the knowledge that it doesn’t matter what goes on in my world, from the lingering aches of the past that nudge my heart and poke my memories to the stresses of work and physical worries, I am ok.  I am doing just fine.

I am all I need.

I love my husband and my children with a quiet ferocity.  Well, truth be told, love for my kids is unconditional because they are part of me and I grew them but the love for my husband has faded in and out over the years.  This due for the most part to those outside factors and the usual marriage ups and downs.  I am growing and nurturing a self-love and it supersedes that.  It’s a powerful thing and without it, I couldn’t love my husband and much as I do these days.

Water Ripple

So with life calming down a bit, I am welcomed to myself with open arms and a beaming smile.

*****

 Here again, so nice to see you, how’ve you been?

Come child, sit a while and let go.

You are all you need.

For the stillness causes ripples

of loving kisses

for all you meet.

Mental Salmon

401876_10151393862622587_1597564815_n

I do not think that in the seven months I’ve been meditating (give or take the last two months) that my mind has been quite so rackety with thoughts during the quiet time.  Even as a newbie last year, on the tail end of some very emotional stuff, I did not have half as many visions and scenarios that I’ve had recently.  And it’s almost impossible not to become absorbed by each one.  I realize only when I’m in deep that I’m engaged; I have to bring my awareness back but before long another one steals in and sneaks up my skirt.

Granted there’s a lot going on in the life of this Spiritual Biscuit.  We finally found a rental home and will be moving next Monday but coming up with funds for all and sundry is a gargantuan effort, helped mostly by some very good friends and by family.  Moving was not our choice; it was forced upon us and if the landlord had waited just a few more months, we wouldn’t be struggling as we are.  So, we’re emptying our bank account to move in, to move our pets in (because pet deposit is ridonkulous), to turn on water, to switch on electricity, to turn on cable and internet (which I might survive a while without but with two young children, my sanity depends upon it), to have trash picked up.  And don’t even get me started on a moving company.

This will also be the first summer that my kids have not stayed at home with me, so we’ve been researching day camps too.  *cha-ching-a-ling-ding-ding*.  And beyond that, the lovely task of breaking the news that they’ll be moving to another new school in the Fall.  My daughter is just like me when I was a kid – adaptable, easygoing, friendly and upon floating the subject, she’s all “I’m a duck, where’s the water?”  My son is like my husband, reserved, resistant to change and as evidenced by last year’s switch, capable of becoming so highly emotional that he will make himself sick.  So…yay for that upcoming conversation.

Lots of external clatter makes for much internal chatter.  But somewhere through the chaos and unkempt mind, is a small still space.  I was there for a few seconds today and it cracked a teeny, tiny smile before I got sucked back into the fray once again.  I will also admit that my meditation practice, as mentioned above, has been quite sporadic.  With time and consistency and once we are moved and somewhat settled, I’m sure my mind will calm some.  It’s not as if the scenarios I have are ones that need sorting out.  They are generic, every day themes that I can’t recall after the fact so I’m not worried that I have inner demons to chase down right this very moment.

I’m treading water.  Doing ok for now.  Keeping busy.  And remembering that being mindful is as easy as focusing on scraping the salmon off the bottom of the pan.

Lisa…