I have come up with a trick about worrying that works for me and which I want to share with you, whoever you are. I want to give gifts to those who take the trouble to visit this site. I like to think they are gifts and I hope you do, too. Ultimately, of course, whether you think so or not doesn't matter. What does is my own desire to give them and the consequent sense of satisfaction.
I don't like to worry -- who does? It gnaws away at our energy and our peace like little rats. My worries lately have been about relationships. Being a direct sort of person, living from the inside out, and jealous of my space and solitude, I worry about offending people and losing friendships that are dear to me. I have constructed a worry room in the vast, endless spaces of my mind and when a thought worries me, I first try to do something about it, like call up those people and make amends, and if that doesn't work, banish the sources of my worry to the WORRY ROOM and lock the door! I say, stay here, please, for a while. I respect you, respect the information about myself that you are giving me, but I don't need you now. Goodbye!
Most often the worry vanishes or resolves itself one way or another. These tricks of the mind are very helpful for survival, peace and joy.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
I seldom get bored but I am thinking about it because a friend of mine said to me yesterday, I am bored. On those rare occasions I do get bored, I think of what a friend of mine said to me once thirty years ago when I told him I was bored: BE GRATEFUL FOR IT. I didn't understand him at that time but the words kept coming back to me at moments and I realized that boredom only happens when you are deeply rested. So whenever boredom comes visiting, I thank it and it invariably passes, like those clouds I talked about several entries ago. If it doesn't pass this way, don't just thank it, hug it, accept it fully and it will become sweet.
No posts lately, no nothing lately. The last post on this title still had some doing, but for five days nows all I do is breathe! I have been stricken with a sleep akin to death, a coma at night and almost a coma during the day. I can wake up and fall asleep again. I can scare myself with words like 'narcolepsy', I could worry about it but I refuse to. I allow myself to be this way because it is so rare a thing and it feels so good that I trust it. If it continues for, say, two weeks, I might worry about it, or rather, not worry about it but goad myself to work in small ways, get back, gradually, into my habitual swing. I have been writing and earning my keep since I was 14 and 21 respectively, and my body and brain deserve this dull and glorious laziness. I am not bored, I am not suffering, I am not sick. I am simply, slothfully, sluggishly lazy, for laziness has a important if not essential function.
Friday, 10 May 2013
I had said earlier on this blog that it was a mistake to blog at the expense of journaling. Here is why.
The truth that can be communicated is a lesser truth than the one you can express when there is no audience.
Journaling is for your eyes only, while blogging is for others’. Journaling is communication with your own soul.
In communicating with others there is always the danger of shamming.
The truth that can be communicated is a very limited truth. It is cleaned at the edges, or cut and made to fit so as to be presentable. It isn’t rough edged, raw, incoherent the way truth can be. I am saying something about appearances and what is behind them.
Though what it communicated can often be true, it can never be Truth, which is inexpressible.
That communication is best that skirts the edges of the soul and borders on that self-communion that happens in journaling.
To prove I believe the last sentence I shall try and implement it in my blog through which I communicate.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
Recently I had the opportunity to reconnect with two of my classmates
from university days, some 43 years ago – Gurjit Cheema and Dod, whose first name I still don’t know. Though they have both aged, like me, I can see continuity from then to now, a thread, and physical similarities to them then. I can see them in my mind’s eye the way they cannot see themselves. Dod, for example, has a memory of me riding a bicycle to campus that I have no memory of at all. I remember him with a moustache and he denies ever having one. Though Gurjit has maintained his slight figure, Dod is not the lithe figure I recall. My memory, superimposed on him now, makes quite a contrast. But the spirit remains unchanged. Yes, the body changes, sometimes drastically, but the spirit doesn’t. What does this tell us? Something highly essential, I think, and very comforting.
We are most like clouds, clouds that gather, rain, pass, disperse, and return again. We are vapor in a seemingly solid body. To confirm this look at your photographs from childhood through now, trace the arc, and see how you have changed over the years. We think old people, like my 91 year of mother, have always been old. They are us in our trajectories through spacetime. When I was young I used to have a sensation that I haven’t experienced for years and years, a sense when I closed my eyes that I was billowing out, layer upon curled layer unfolding out into space. I used to feel I was disappearing, that I could unfold out into infinity and nothing of me would remain.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
When I cannot sleep at night and my dark imagination is doing its work to produce night narratives, horrible scenarios of illness, suffering, death, I am reminded of how I am a tiny creature first, no more significant than a cockroach to frightened, slipper wielding females. Those that kill will be killed and we are all killers. To eat is to kill; to breathe, to be, is to kill. There are times in your life when you have to get into some self-definition – no, not just times, but self-definition is important to gain clarity about your life. These self definitions can and do change often like all changing things in this changing world. When I cannot sleep I realize and take comfort in the fact that I am a creature first, a frightened (though hardly admitting it to myself and never to others) being, no different from cockroaches and spiders, that suffer, have appetites, and fears their demise. Next, I am a human (huwoman?) that reflects on her creatureliness and needs all sorts of things to feel gratified; third, a writer who reflects on both her creatureliness and her huwomanness; fourth I am a Sikh, since for my peace of mind and need for ecstasy I follow the path prescribed in the Granth Sahib.
There was a time I thought of myself as a writer first, then a God-oriented person, and my creaturely humanness was just a pit I fell into occasionally, by accident. It wasn’t a fundamental truth of my being.
Oddly, the thought of myself as a creature first is very comforting now. It allows me to be everything I am, freely. It helps me function on a level that is less stressful than thinking of myself as, say, an enlightened (which I am not) or evolved being. There is no striving here: nothing to achieve, nothing to struggle for and become, just an experience of existence as it has been given to me to experience. There is something sweet and expansive about it. Yes. When I think of myself as an institutional Sikh (which I am not), or something more, on the other end of the spectrum, I feel I have to be and do all sorts of things to feel good about myself. It puts me in the tourniquet of ‘shoulds,’ trips me up ever so often and makes me quite unhappy. But if I think of myself as a Sikh whose only task is to think of the matrix of existence, wonder at it, praise it, and be as good a person as I can be (in terms of interaction with others, no matter who or of what status in life) considering I also have a bad, shadow side, then being a Sikh gives me a path in the frightening forest of life that I rather enjoy treading. It is a lovely, winding path, perhaps a path like the ones I hike upon near our Kullu home, lined with ancient deodars, their roots jutting out to provide steps on steep inclines, and moss and lichen matted boulders. Much beauty, here.