I have been (sporadically) trying to learn how to meditate. There are several reasons I’m doing this, but probably the biggest reason is that my mind is a continual whirl of (mostly) fun thoughts and ideas and sometimes it’s hard to be inside my own head and my long suffering husband can only bear so much of my excited chatter (because he’s a talker too!).
I’d like to be able to slow down and focus on one writing idea at a time, actually make use of the notebooks crammed with ideas which I currently have. Enter meditation. Theoretically.
A week ago I was attempting to meditate. I find I do best when I force myself to lie on my exercise mat and stay still. This, also, is difficult for me. My father once said I had more energy than anyone he knew. I think he was saying in a very kind way that I’m hyperactive. It’s a miracle that I am a writer (which requires long bouts of relative stillness), but although I am a fidgeter, I also know how to fully engage with what I’m doing at the moment IF it fully interests me. Which, clearly, meditation does not.
Last week rather than lying on my mat in the dining room I was sitting in a chair in the living room, dressed to substitute teach at LMC and not willing to crumple my clothing. Perhaps it was where I was sitting, but I became aware over top of the meditation music just how LOUD the living room clock was.
Side journey: Barry has acutely sensitive hearing — he can actually hear a dog whistle. Don’t try to whisper a surprise for him from across the room, because he will hear it. And don’t try making snide remarks to his back when he has his headphones on, because even though they are noise canceling, yup, he’s going to hear every word. Trust me. :-)
Barry has been complaining about how loud our clocks are for, well, years. But my mind has never slowed enough to let me hear them (or his complaint) much. Until Tuesday.
A woman of action, I quickly decided that before the day was through I would buy a new living room clock. After teaching I went shopping. Though none of the clocks at the store promised silence on their boxes, I decided that since our kitchen clock has glass on its front and is silent, perhaps getting one with a glass cover was the key to quiet.
Except it wasn’t. When I arrived home I quickly stood in front of the kitchen clock and closed my eyes and focused. Damn! It DID audibly tick. That glass-cover theory was obviously wrong.
No matter. Perhaps there had been major clock advances made in the decade since we bought those clocks. And I liked the elegant scrollwork of the new timepiece. I put a battery in it, only to discovered immediately that It. Ticked. Well I was “ticked” by then as well.
When Barry arrived home from work he immediately praised the pretty new clock.
“It’s going back,” I said.
I told him my theory about the kitchen clock and he laughed. Of course he had noticed the kitchen clock’s ticking, but he doesn’t spend as much time in that room and so he hadn’t mentioned it. Or he maybe had mentioned it and I hadn’t been listening. Oops.
That’s what comes of marrying a musician who can play everything under the sun: every noise, every rhythm catches his attention.
He offered, half heartedly, for us to keep the clock.
“No way,” I said. “If you want a silent clock you shall have one.”
A few internet clicks later I discovered that these non-ticking clocks DO exist, and as my fingers are swift to shop online, we should have one, no, two, posthaste.
And the meditation? Sometimes I have mercy on myself and allow myself to stretch while listening to the shortest guided meditation I can find and I try not to mumble about what a waste of time it is. Because it’s not: if meditation allowed me to hear (and react) to something that has been bothering my husband for years, what other, less concrete, things might meditation bring to me? It was certainly worth seeing the delighted look on my husband’s face that said “You heard me. Finally.”
If you’ll excuse me, I do believe I have a yoga mat to unfurl. Sigh.