I settle on my meditation cushion. It’s pretty, red and yellow and it reminds me of the saffron color of a monk’s robe. That’s why I chose this one. Maybe having a ‘thing’ to focus on, to train my brain to automatically start to settle into calm just by seeing it, by touching it and settling it down just where I want it. It’s surprisingly easy to point your brain in the right direction, so many little tricks and cues you can give it so that it automatically starts to condition itself to better habits. I avoid this at all costs. I have yet to figure out why.
I have felt the inner power and calm that comes from dropping deeper inside with your eyes wide open. I have felt moments of bliss and the blue electric fire that runs sparking in circles around your spine before I had even heard that they call it kundalini. They were fleeting moments, my brain usually intruded itself, speaking aloud and naming the wonders and sending them smiling quietly back to their corners. Fleeting is fine, I don’t think I’m meant to be the beatific being, in a constant state of enlightenment. But I can’t even remember the feeling of opening up to the possibility that it was coming. You feel it, and you open to it, and there it is. I can’t feel the opening any more.
My weight drops down into the kidney shaped cushion. My knees open themselves towards the floor. My eyes won’t stay closed, eyelids fluttering, so I open them. The patio door again. Quiet and sunrise, the rest of my household asleep.
The inside corners of the index finger gently slide against the inside pads of the thumb. I will myself to feel the connection, the circle, anything.
My sleeping household, the ones that I love in such ridiculous amounts that I have literally felt my heart skip a beat. You know, it was just as much of a delight to learn that you really could feel your heart skip a beat at the sight of someone as it was to learn that a kiss could literally make you weak in the knees. Fleeting moments too, of course. I’m perfectly alright with that.
My eyelids have drifted shut of their own accord, and this time it’s comfortable and I smile, a little. Inhale slowly through the nose, tongue slightly pressed against the roof of my mouth, against the back of my teeth. Hold for beat. A little more forcefully, exhale through the nose. I feel my heart beat slow down, slightly, incrementally.
I think about the first time that ** made my knees go weak.
When he walked toward me and I realized he was about to kiss me, even though we had played plenty of kissyface before, I got stuck like a wild animal caught out by the light. I couldn’t have moved if you told me that the Star Trek Enterprise was waiting outside to beam me up. At the last second his hand came up to the side of my face and his lips were on mine, and I swear on everything, I swooned. One brief moment to laugh inside my head at the idea of being a swooner, and whoosh I don’t think I thought straight again until the next morning.
My inhales are slow and steady. I have fallen into my body’s rhythm. My shoulders relax, my chin dips towards my chest and I exhale heavily. There’s a slight sensation of falling; not like a panicky gasp of a fall, just a descent. I hear my inhalation as if from inside, setting up camp near the sinuses, listening to breath as if to wind. I exhale, and it goes on and on, it should feel unnatural but it’s not, and the feeling of descent…broadens. It doesn’t deepen, like you think that something descending would do, it just grows exponentially in an ever widening bubble, or maybe like an upside down mushroom. Picture that, it’s fun.
My eyelids are gone. Obviously they’re not, but since I am seeing things and haven’t opened my eyes the only logical explanation would be that they are gone. Next step in logical deduction is to admit the truth of what your senses are telling you, barring possibly if you are a schizophrenic or a paranoid delusional. Then I would maybe say question everything your senses are telling you. If a sane person by standard definition started to do this, would they then corrupt their brain into becoming delusional? Possibly.
But I am seeing things. Not like you normally see things behind your closed eyelids when you press too hard on them or the sun is creating shapes behind them. I see….I see a road in front of me. It is dark outside, and I am standing on a dirt road, paved unevenly with rough, cracked flagstones more suited to a patio than a road. Everything looks filmy, like there was a dust storm that I just missed and now there’s a haze. I’m not worried, about what’s behind me or what’s in front of me. I think that maybe there’s a layer of haze over my brain as well.
Fine, soft dirt under my bare feet. I look down in surprise as I grind them in, amazed that the physical sensations are so specific. I am also surprised to see that my toenails are painted a pretty sparkly purple color. This obscure detail is what starts to quicken the delayed panic response inside me. I used to paint my toenails all the time. A small delight that would make me smile every time I happened to catch a glimpse of them. It’s been probably a little over two years since I have plied my pretty painted toenail trade.
The surprises continue, little sparks of confusion as my eyes run over my legs. They are tanned and conditioned, perfectly smooth. Gone are the little pockets of dimpled skin on the backs of my thighs, a physical sign of the laziness that has eaten at me, thin and shapely legs gifted by nature and marred by lack of discipline. Still, my scars remain on these pretty and tanned legs, but I have always loved my scars, even the ones that I put there on purpose.
I am wearing little blue stretchy shorts, midnight blue that deepens against my golden skin. My stomach is my flat and gorgeous stomach again, not the little bloated and fluffy pouch under the remainder of what used to be taut, gained with much hard work slouching and eating shitty comfort food covered in mayonnaise. And again, the flaw that remains is the flaw that I love, the little distended part at the top of my belly button from being pregnant.
My regular old boobs covered in an undershirt style tank top are the same, and my arms and whatnot, all the same, my good old self, my pieces that I haven’t wrecked yet by being an asshole.
Flutters and flickers of panic are now licking at the edges of my conscious thoughts, flashing Danger Danger signals that are supposed to mean something but I’m not there yet, not clear enough to see it. I gaze forward, down the road, startled all over again as I see lights popping up in the distance, coming towards me, like giant fireflies bursting into light one at a time, in a row, heading directly for me.
An involuntary step forward, they’re so beautiful, so bright and friendly, I feel literally compelled to move closer to them. My foot stills its own forward momentum. I realize what it is that has the ‘you should be freaking out now’ messages careening through my thoughts.
I am, at the edge of this road, in a place that does not exist, seeing things with my eyes closed, my perfectly realized self. When I visualize myself inside my head, this is the person that I see. She pirouettes through my inner workings, zings to the top of a pyramid to sit lotus style in a smartass way on the very tip as she attains enlightenment without me. She is the me that I see when I imagine what I would be were it not for the cracks and the wrong turnings and all the bullshit. And I am her. Right now.
‘What the FUCK?’
My eyelids open for real, I am on my monk colored meditation cushion staring straight out of my patio door. And my bare feet are covered in dirt.