Here’s how I get up in the morning:
The windows are open, but the horizons are closed. My mind wakes up slowly. That’s considered a plus for meditation. Recommendations are to sit early, before the usual definitions and thought patterns settle in. I haven’t seen that work for me; for most of my life I have woken up right into a very narrow perspective.
Why narrow? Because, one way or another, it’s all about me: Morning. Nice or not nice? What day is it? What am I doing today? What’s going to happen? That last question especially brings up ancient fears and anxieties that, rather than expiring, always seem to find new clothes in which to dress up. The ancient concern that has gnawed deeply inside me is some version of: Who the hell am I? In new clothes, it appears as: What happens to a single older woman like me? What happens if I get sick and can’t take care of myself? What happens if creativity dies and I never write another blog post, another book, another poem? This last one scares the hell out of me.
As I write this, I realize that almost the only time fear or anxiety comes up is when my horizons are small, focused on me. That self-enclosed, self-obsessed world is a breeding ground for anxiety. And why not, given how narrow it feels? I can practically feel the constriction, as if someone put a headband around my consciousness and pulled it tight, wagging a finger in front and warning it to stay in place.
So, while I used to enjoy meditation in the early morning, it wasn’t because my mind was wide or free. It was because I loved the pre-dawn darkness, the way the early sunbeams streak the walls with the promise of new shapes and forms, and how the darkness finally lifts to reveal the world.
That’s what happens now. I get up and leave some of that headachy, self-engrossed realm behind. Pay attention to the shower, the toothbrush, an old towel that needs to be replaced. My horizons start receding, the world comes in and reminds me of its freshness, of the fact that it’s an ocean and not an enclosed lagoon, that I inhale air, that the leaves manufacture chlorophyl (a miracle that never ceases to amaze me), that anything can happen. The bigger the horizons, the less the fear. At least for me, reliance on the life force takes away fear.
I am aware that lots of people are very afraid of what climate change is bringing, or else they’re cynical about it, which is just the other side of the coin: So what’s the big deal if my house goes solar and I recycle and try not to drive or at least get an electric car? It’s the greedy corporations! It’s the ruthless, predatory system! It’s Republicans! It’s Trump!
Its cousin is fear: What will happen to this earth, we are destroying everything! There are grounds for this, but sometimes it borders on hysteria. I feel that our individual efforts do make a difference. When the Berlin Wall was torn down overnight and the Soviet Union collapsed, people looked around at each other and said: How did this happen? How did such an entrenched system collapse by itself? No intelligence agency, with its billions of dollars, predicted this would happen.
It didn’t collapse by itself, multiple individuals and organizations worked hard and, with faith and hope, made the space for it to collapse. Metaphorically, they were already disassembling the wall over many years till one day someone finally removed a brick, and the whole thing came crashing down.
An unsustainable system will also come crashing. It might take many of us and other species down with it, not much comfort in that, but eventually things will change. I say that not because of my faith in human beings but because of my faith in the life force.
The nights now are as loud as could be. I go out just before calling it a day (or an evening) into the nightly concerts of cicadas, crickets and tree frogs.
“It’s an orgy out here,” I tell Aussie.
“Why them and not us?” she wonders, yawning.
I walk around the perimeter lit by a motion sensor. It’s a small radius, beyond it it’s all dark. Dark to me, but so full of life for others.
I’ve had some tech trouble with the blog. I was told that those who subscribe to it and get it via their email have not gotten it for weeks. This is due to changes Google made that this low-tech author was not aware of. Right now, you can access my blog through my website (www.evemarko.com) and also through Facebook. The inimitable Silvana is working on it and has already informed me that if you re-subscribe on my website (check off Subscribe to Eve’s Blog), you should be receiving posts through email once again. My apologies for this. She continues to tweak the system to bring everybody else on board.