Funny story: So Yom Kippur is perhaps the most somber and important day of the Jewish year; it’s the Sabbath of Sabbaths, the Day of Atonement, the day our names our sealed in the Book of Life for one more year.
And Yom Kippur is tomorrow.
But my calendar (don’t trust calendars) implied it began last night, so I began fasting, trying to think of Yom Kippur things, and then I realized, today isn’t even Yom Kippur.
Writing is like meditation, and perhaps like any of the great monks, I can usually find my words anywhere. (Except of late—my words have come to my mouth like thick tar, and what I want to say is never what ends up congealed on the page.)
It’s a bit of a cliche to say I’ve written in coffee shops and libraries, but I have. I’ve also penned my words in more exotic places–in the middle of an open field, on the perimeter of a cafeteria while I ate my lunch, in bed at a hostel in Puebla, Mexico.
Some of these posts have made the front page. Others still haven’t been published. It’s an interesting discussion, the importance of inspiration and place, the interplay of ideas and space, but it’s a little bland if I boil it down. Is it easier to hit publish when I’m sitting at my desk or is it the risk assessment of my content that decides whether I share it with the world or let it steep in my saved drafts?
I like publishing complete thoughts, but not all conversations have a tangible end. My love affair with math. The state of racism and my place as a white man within it. Remarks on LGBT issues that I just ran out of time to proofread. Tangents and ramblings. All these things lie in wait. Perhaps someday I’ll gather the courage to share the incomplete.
So sometimes I write in strange places. I let the words roll down, simmer and swirl. Sometimes they form fruit and fall. Other times they wither in the bud.
And then they had drinks and celebrated the fact that finals were over. (Seriously, I tried coming up with a better punchline, but I couldn’t make it funny, so I thought I’d opt for absurd and asinine instead.)
But honestly, finals are over, and believe it or not, I almost didn’t know what to do when I got out of class. I lingered, albeit unintentionally at first, with some classmates and we discussed our exam, but then I was on my own–and I really had no idea what to do with myself.
So I did what anyone else would do: I did nothing.
One of my goals this year has been to meditate more. It calms the mind, soothes the body, and I need all of the above. Especially this week, when I really feel reality slipping and my consciousness dripping all over the floor around me and puddling up in the mattress beneath me, something to take the edge off without alcohol is appreciated.
That’s where meditation comes in.
But the last couple months, sitting still hasn’t been helpful. Making time to stop isn’t meditative–it just makes me more anxious, as in minutes I see all the hours of work I could get done–and then watch as time passes while I merely sit there. That’s not meditation. That’s torture.
I have a few things to discuss, a few things that–come next month–I must definitely find a new way of discussing. It’s only been one update so far of this sort (if that gives you any substantial hint what I’m about to do) and already the list-likeness of it makes me want to stop.
Lists are not fun.
But in the meantime, while I consider alternate methods of assessment, let’s look at my goal progress this year.
Now came the finale. Now, he told us, the three men in the group were miraculously pregnant, eight months along. I felt the weight at my abdomen, and when he told us to stand, I struggled to move from my seat, barely kept my balance once I was standing, and then moved carefully back to my seat when he told us to sit.
I was skeptical, but I was also intrigued. Here I was last night, at the Phi Theta Kappa Carolinas Region Regional Conference: After our first general session and dinner, there was a presentation on…HYPNOTISM!