When the quiet comes

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Listening to: L’appuntamento, by someone other than Ornella Vanoni.

I have started meditating again. There is a knack to meditation; it is in itself a fine art which requires constant practice to refine and garner the most benefit. Despite starting again quite recently, it has been easier to slip into than I anticipated. I like to think this is my body and mind’s way of accepting that it’s something I need, that it is serving a purpose for us all.

I had a moment this morning while I was at The Apartment. I always wake early, almost always before The Young Italian (who is most definitely not a morning person). Early morning meditation always works best for me, in the cool morning air, in the peace and quiet before everyone else starts bustling around. I have to say West Leedy is an especially nice area to meditate in – it’s filled with the cliché of leafy trees, singing birds, the low hum of traffic, morning coffees being made and distant chatter.

It was surprisingly easy to slip into the stream this morning.  I did my stretching and took a few moments setting up my posture and getting into my breathing rhythm, and within just a few minutes I had reached this unexpected, slightly weird place of total inner bliss. That doesn’t happen very often and it particularly threw me off this morning because of all the turmoil and stress that has been going on lately, I was just really expecting to have to fight it the entire way and really battle into it (as I so often have in the past).  So to be fronted this morning with total ease instead was surprising but pleasant… then even more surprising was that within a few more minutes of silent stillness I actually started tearing up. Tears. During meditation. Unheard of! Well, not entirely… but it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been there (Brandon Bays, The Journey). It was just another one of those really lovely moments of total validation, where everything just felt right, that the Universe and everything in my body was just singing that this place, this moment my presence and being was exactly where it’s supposed to be. I’ve had these little moments every now and then along the way over the last few months and, shit, I’ve needed them given the multitude and magnitude of happenings. I am a person who is particularly susceptible to guilt so I’ve had to be especially cautious about how much I buy into this over the last several months – enough to keep myself grounded and to not be disrespectful or dismissive of the events which I’ve been through and through which I have put others; but not enough to cause myself more harm than necessary and to maintain some semblance of sanity. Guilt can be a slippery road which only leads downwards, at least for me. So having these little markers along the way, these little moments of validation which say, “Hey, you’re doing okay, you’re not a completely shit person, you’ve made the right choice for yourself and for your life and everything is going to be okay,” – well, these moments are truly invaluable, particularly once the dust from the chase starts to settle, as it invariably does – and must, and the pace of living starts to slow. These are the moments where we are most susceptible to doubt and regret, questioning the validity of our apparently self-serving past decisions and actions. When the quiet comes so too do the questions, hence the writing now.

Now that I am settling into my new skin and testing out the boundaries of this new life, it has been refreshing to find that I am asking questions but the right kind, or the better kind, at least for me. I find myself now with so much time – something which has always been so valuable to me and of which previously I’ve never been able to find enough of. Every aspect of my life with Adam and the kids was about time management. My every day living cycled through this revolving door of either not having enough time or having time but not the right kind. My time with the kids was so negative, in every sense of the word, there is no more succinct way to put it, therefore my time with Adam started off so treasured but then we eventually reached this awful place where the once-precious time that we had together was no longer valued at all. I look at my life pre-separation, I even read the writing from back then in which I used to lament that I had too many things to do and not enough time in which to do them, not enough time to live in a way which I felt was authentic or realising the potential of my life or my ability to live fully and wholly. Post-separation and it’s still me, I’m still the same person with the same capacity to live, but I have so much time I don’t know what to do with it all sometimes. I have so much time that I can literally sit around and think about all the time I have and devise ways to best utilise it. Imagine that!

Even now – I can’t remember the last time I sat in a cafe or a wine bar and just wrote, with no real purpose, no deadline or timeframe, no real need to be anywhere or do anything other than navel-gaze and talk shit and people watch. What a profound luxury this is, epically profound, and for which I am so extremely grateful (“grateful” like someone has gifted this to me, when actually it’s still just me). I used to spend huge amounts of time lamenting about the fact that I didn’t have the time to write when I was married, when really there was still the same amount of hours in the day but I was choosing to spend them differently (and it was an active choice, despite my otherwise protestations at the time). Admittedly I have now weaned myself into a slightly different lifestyle thanks to The Young Italian and his hospitality career – where previously I would always aim to be in bed by 9:30pm (10pm was a late night!), these days I am awake and still functioning at midnight and beyond, which definitely adds greater scope for more activities (productive or otherwise). But shit… to sit and write, like this, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, by myself, looking out over the street being a moody, artistic wanker who is musing about life’s great mysteries… fucking fantastic. Fabulous. I’m 32 and I’m just starting to feel like I am living again in a way that is truly authentic for me, with almost zero regard for other people’s priorities, expectations or other self-imposed bullshit. Sure, it sounds a little selfish but it’s incredibly fulfilling nonetheless. And given the compromises I’ve made it my life for the last 10 years, I like to think I can be excused a little selfishness for now. Even if I couldn’t be excused, I honestly don’t care. It feels too good to give up right now.

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