What I will say is that I miss that woman.
She is on a hell of a good journey, though, I’ll give her that.
She’s a goddamn wonder.
How is it that at my age I have suddenly broken through into a new way of being? I’m sorry for going on and on about it, but it is kind of right up in my face lately and so it’s what I’m going to keep talking about. Until I bore myself. Nevermind you. You got a right to be a little exasperated-
“When’s this guy gonna shut up already? He’s creamy, okay, got it. Next!”
I have had all of my life a subtle, or not so subtle, feeling of anxiety and dread about what’s coming down the pipeline. Mostly because I’m always feeling that I’ve left something important undone and it’s going to bite me in the ass. This feeling arises, strangely, because I’m always leaving something important undone and then it bites me in the ass.
Perhaps understandably, I tend to a little bit of internal jumpiness.
This particular groove is so deeply worn into my neural circuitry that it has become an aspect of my internal weather, it is what it is like to be me. I can be sitting on the sofa on a Saturday evening, watching some dark Norwegian flick on the TV, rubbing my wife’s feet, comfortable and entranced, and yet there’s this buzzing tension in every cell of my body, like I’m a high voltage powerline.
It isn’t the most comfortable way to live. Yet I have clung to it. I remember in sixth grade our science teacher, Mr. Golden (“Science is Golden” he’d always say, laughing maniacally) set up this thing in class where he had a car battery hooked up to a wet rope he’d strung on a wooden cross-like frame and what you’d do is grab hold of the rope in your two hands up high near the top of the cross and then drag your hands down and spread your arms and the lower and farther out you went the higher the current got and the tighter your hands would clamp onto the wet rope and you’d get to a point where you just couldn’t let go. That current just kept your hands convulsing so rapidly that you couldn’t override the signal and you were stuck.
He got a big old charge out of that.
Anyway, that’s kind of how I cling, have clung, to that pattern. I couldn’t leave go of it. I knew I looked pretty stupid, hell, I felt pretty stupid. Still, you know, there I was, “nnnngngngngnggnnnnngngngngnggngnnnn!”
All the damn time.
Now my experience is different. There’s a spaciousness, a sense of deep and abiding calm where before there was always this buzzing tension. It is remarkable to feel. Very nice. Very pleasant. And there’s more, too. It isn’t just that something bad has gone away and now I’m at a kind of neutral point. Something bad has gone away and something wonderful showed up at the same time.
The world as it is.
And I’m bad in love with it. I’m like a besotted sixteen year old trying to get the world to take her pants off all the time. It’s embarrassing.
But, you know, pretty nice, too.
And people, too. I like them. To paraphrase Sally Fields, “I like them, I really like them!”
I really, really do.
I dove into Buddhism seeking a solution to my pain and suffering. I have found that. Found that and so much more.
It’s remarkable. I don’t think I quite thought that things would change so drastically and so quickly. It’s a very effective medicine for the mind.
I know that I’m kind of overheated right now and this will pass. I’ll get more used to this new state and settle into it and who knows, maybe it will be my new normal. Maybe it will pass entirely and I’ll only have the memory of it.