So. This struggle. One of the consequences is that I am brought face-to-face each day with these very powerful emotions, very strong, dark, difficult things. The effect is like being caught in the surf zone- a huge wave catches you, knocks you down, sends you spinning around and around, breath knocked out of you, disoriented, blinded, roar of the sea in your ears, taste of it in your mouth, fear, helplessness, cold and dark. When the surge passes, you try to orient yourself, look toward the light, move toward the surface with your lungs laboring, break into it, and another wave is on top of you. Gasp for air and down you go again.
So, very powerful stuff.
But eventually you get kind of numb to it. And that’s good. Because what you may begin to realize, what I am coming around to, is a conception of emotion as akin to advertising, to the slick, jazzy, hyper-sexy, hyper-violent, hype of sales. Like television. Like the movies. All this flash, this drama. It makes everything seem very important.
My unmet needs.
Cast a good-looking guy, a hot chick, give ’em guns and cool clothes and an exotic setting, a glass of premium whiskey, a couple of catchy lines, and we’re off to the movies.
Maybe, just maybe, emotions are something we should endeavor to pay a little bit less attention to. Not that it doesn’t matter if you are happy or sad, loved or alone. Not that.
But maybe it should kind of be like, I dunno, an appetizer and not the main course. Or a condiment. Yes.
Something to add flavor. Depth and nuance and smokiness to the food. But don’t mistake it for the actual food.
What I find is that if I can just observe my emotions without making them a big deal, I don’t get as caught up in them. They become more like something my body does, and I don’t have a lot of control over it, but I don’t have to let it control me, either.
But there is also a feeling of flatness that comes with that mindful disconnection from the engine of emotional reactivity. You could call it Zen-like calm, but you could also call it the flat affect of shell shock.
It’s better than punching things, though.
I am going to indulge in some cook therapy today, big time. I’m making a tapas dinner spread with the following dishes:
olives with lemon and rosemary
white bean, anchovy, and caper spread on baguette toast
clams in garlic sauce
wine and ham croquettes
fried fish in garlic, vinegar, oregano, and cumin
fried eggplant with honey, mint, and sesame seeds
mini meatballs in saffron sauce
lots of wine
Take that, emotional shit-storm!!!
Peace be upon you, dudes.