Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Meditative Mood

I have just finished the last class in a four-session minfulness meditation course and am now sitting in a cafe with a very dark cup of decaf coffee, headphones playing Brad Mehldau, and a few things on my mind. I'm at Syracuse University and students are moving through this place, some sitting for a few minutes to discuss things over open laptops, others breezing out the door thumbing their phones. I have often come here and felt out of place in my own body, almost as though I should be younger, or more likely that I wish I were that younger person I used to be. Tonight, I'm not in the mood to wish for anything.

I have this ceramic mug that is wondrous to drink from. The handle fits my fingers and they seem to know what to do without thought. Just this moment I considered how to hold the mug and it was just so. Perhaps that doesn't make sense to you in the reading. Pick up your coffee cup with some thought. Or your glass of water. You'll find what I'm trying to describe. It just works.

The coffee inside it is just right. I like my coffee to be dark, thick, but not bitter. Smooth coffee that I feel on my tongue. Again, I take another sip and it feels just right on my tongue, in my mouth, sliding down inside of me.

I have this music and it is beyond beautiful. The song is almost over. I'll change it to "River Man" from Live in Tokyo and it is a song I've heard perhaps two hundred times. It is exactly as I know it, yet I don't tire of it. Perhaps it's the title that does it, but the piece is a river going by. I've sat by the river so many times and it is always the same, always different. I find myself moving back and forth as I type just because the song pulls me that way and I'm ready to go.

I have this computer, a free wifi signal that lets me log into, itself a wonder that I have come to depend on and enjoy like a home I live in, or better, a cottage I go visit every day, by myself to watch the river go by.

And I have words. I seem to almost always have words. Sometimes, as in meditation, that can be a problem for me. Each sound becomes a story and I have to quietly tell myself, Not now, Brian. Let it be sound. Let yourself be there but not write the sound into story.

The words aren't usually a problem. I have them here in my fingers. I can't believe that I'm really thinking them. The words talk to me. They tell me things. Typing that, I sound a little crazy, but it's okay. It's not me so much as the words that are doing the talking. The words are allowed to be crazy.

And the words, like the mug, the coffee, the music, the river I keep imagining, are all just as they should be. I don't have any real worries about them. I am imagining the effects that the words will have on this person, that person, the collective person I call "the audience," but I'm not worried about it. I hear the words in my own head and they sound good to me. Can I say that they sound good enough without sounding as though I am making excuses? Sure, I can say that.

I had thought this morning that today I would write an update about the writing I'm publishing each day. An introduction to this idea for those who might be stumbling upon it for the first or second or third time. I hadn't expected to be introducing it to myself, to the coffee, to the mug, to the music, and the imagined river. I hadn't expected to introduce myself again to the act of writing.

I don't know what words I will write here tomorrow, what thoughts I will have, what stories my fingers will tell me. Isn't that true for all of us. We go out on a run wondering where we will end up. We bring the camera to our eye unsure what we will see through the viewfinder or in the finished picture. We begin dicing vegetables knowing that we want to make a soup but working without a recipe and letting the knife tell us what will happen next. And we wake each morning without knowing what shape the day will take or who we will be exactly at the close day when we find ourselves sitting with a cup of coffee in a ceramic mug, in a cafe with a computer and a whole lot of words, knowing that things are coming along just fine and there is no where in the world we need to be, no one else in the world we need to be than where we are and who we are right now.

Write on. Write on.