Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer

Morning Musings 1

Morning Musings 1

Stream of consciousness, free writing, whatever you want to call it…Just muscle through to the poem at the end. The prize in the cracker jacks box.

 

We all want something to “hold on to”. I do anyway (even though I am continually learning about letting go). I was listening to the birds this morning…. Must have been at least half a dozen different voices all seemingly randomly singing their songs. No set rhythm to the orchestra of sounds. And I thought, in music, I usually like a rhythm or some framework to what I am listening to. The music that is extremely disjointed and more of a discordant nature like some John Coltraine type music that I do not always enjoy, even though it is brilliant, the feeling inside unsettles me. This is not a review of Coltraine. This is to say I like a rhythm to grab onto.

The birds are more chaotic or random, but the sounds are nevertheless pleasing. Why? Why does it still feel relaxing? Much of nature is random. The branches of a tree, the cloud formations, the way the water flows at a section of a stream as I watch it go over the rocks. In music, I like a beat or rhythm to follow, move my body, tap my foot, I feel the beat in my body.

In life (finally I am getting to the point or maybe not) I like things I can grasp and hold onto, even if it is just for a while. I am learning to not get so upset about having to let go. Let go of things I thought I could hold onto…a flower, a book, a love, a thought when I am meditating. I want to capture the thought sometimes and stop meditating to write it down… I need to keep a pad nearby I guess.

So I like to hold onto things (I will probably never achieve Dalai Lama status). And in music, what grabs me most is that I love to take a ride along the beat of the music, even though the ride usually lasts only a few minutes. How enjoyable a ride it is. I get to hold on for a few minutes, and then let go and hold onto the next song, and on and on. It is a lesson in letting go. But the birds this morning, taught me something. I can enjoy their discordant, seemingly random orchestration, even though my mind is trying to put it into some kind of order or regular structure with beats and measures.

It just is the way it is, and as unpredictable and random as it is with all the individual birds chirping and chiming and knocking and cooing and adding staccato chirps to melodic notes of different keys, rhythms, beats, tones, somehow together it is still pleasing. The whole of it, in its totality, it is still symphonic and somehow still pleasing, even humorous, in the gestalt of it, the entirety. It soothes.

So, what have I said so far, anything? Sometimes I like the gentle chaos, in nature anyway. When it is too frequent or too constant in life, I feel stressed and I get jumbled and antsy inside. In nature, it feels soothing. I like some kind of order in life. Yet life is not like that consistently. It is not always ordered as I might think it is. And then the rug gets pulled out from under me, and my comfort is disturbed by the sudden shake up of order and reintroduction of chaos. I like order, but there is often more chaos than order. I don’t know if I will ever get good at liking the sometimes randomness of everyday living that I try to impose some order upon.

And to think, all this thinking prompted by the sound of the birds. No wonder I need to meditate to quiet my mind (not really quieting, or is it?). It doesn’t really quiet my mind. It just makes me focus on one thing over and over again, my breathing, or today I did a scan of my body.

I noticed that if I focused on how I was feeling in various areas of my body, I couldn’t keep  thinking other thoughts, lists of what I have to do, how I am going to fix the writing piece I am working on, today is my son’s birthday I need to call him, I need to tell my brother it is my son’s birthday, it is getting late I want to get outside, oh the birds, listen to the birds….when I listen to the birds I stop thinking about all the other stuff, just focus on the sounds, or focus on my body scan, and there, I am using my mind in a directed fashion and it is no longer random.

Wow….amazing…I am putting some control over my brain and thoughts for a few minutes by focusing on ONE thing…. I am not sure if I can think two thoughts at exactly the same time…. Can I? So by focusing on one thing, I am allowing a brain rest from its constant flipping from one thing to another…no wonder I think I am A.D.D…. I get easily distracted….but meditation…I am attempting, the best I can, to focus on only one thing…. Breath or a body sensation…. And I am placing some control and at the same time giving my brain a mini-vacation. Focus yet resting at the same time. By focusing, I am resting. A paradox. I love paradoxes. Groucho would say it’s a pair of ducks. And so it is.

There we go. That is my free flow for the moment. All boiled down to a pair of ducks. It’s enough to quack up. Quack head.

 

Now…… One more thing………or Roseanne Rosannadana would say, “One more Ting”

On smelling the roses

 

I realized the expression, to stop and smell the roses, is just like a meditation. Not only does it mean to slow down and appreciate all the things around you in everyday life, the things you see the things you hear, the people you interact with, but if you took it literally for a moment it would be like a meditation. It would be like listening to the birds. When you stop and smell the flower you are not doing anything else, you are immersed in the smell of that flower completely, just like a child. Just like a child, completely in that moment. A pause. A moment in time. Just being. Stop. Smell the roses. Just lost in the aroma, long inhale as my olfactory nerve endings are having a moment of indulgence. Like when I smell basil, or peppermint. I feel it in the pores of my skin, in the cells throughout my body, and I am the mint, the basil, the rose. How beautiful…how sweet. How complete a breath it is. Jackie Gleason comes to mind. “How sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet it is.”

Neal

 

Basil, Rose, and Mint

Lovely ladies luring scents

Pause my busy head,

Keep me in the present tense…NmK…chirp…chirp…chirp…quack…inhale deeply…slow to exhale

 

nmitchk@aol.com

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