I cleaned this space out last night in my continuing effort to purge and pack. Mark and I each have a side of the room – his side has a pile (literally) of abandoned music equipment, mic stands, furniture, and odds and ends. Organization is not his forte. My side was neatly stacked with two storage cabinets, a couple boxes, and several Rubbermaid containers that held Christmas decorations and gift wrapping sundries. Funny how even in the hidden spaces, our personalities are evident in stark contrast.
Once my side was empty, I stood there a moment looking around, listening to the steady precipitation outside (again). I remember standing in the same spot, doing the same thing when we first moved into the house five years ago. It was raining then too, and the gentle drumming on the shingles just inches above sounded so awesome I dragged Mark upstairs to hear it. It could've been a super romantic moment, but it went over his head. (Pun intended. Ironically, Mark is in San Diego on business this week. How did that happen?) I wish I had the right equipment to record the resonance because it would lull almost anyone into a trance. Must be something about the slant of the roof and the cotton candy acoustics exposed in the walls.
I stood there so long, just listening, that I finally sat down and closed my eyes. I rarely plan to meditate – in fact, I suck at it so bad I avoid the traditional practice to save myself the frustration – but once in awhile it just kind of happens.
As always, the Monkey Mind took over at first. I wished Mark would donate all the things he doesn’t use, especially the music equipment. I imagined someone being able to pursue their dreams with the “junk” in our attic, and I felt a sad energy from the neglected items. I was also annoyed that they were thrown into a pile with so little regard, some things broken from the abuse. How arrogant we humans can be - we take too much for granted.
I thought about the trip I took to St. John’s just before I moved to NJ, where I bought the bamboo wind chimes that now hung from the ceiling, silent for years. I missed the distinct clacking noise that brought a little of the Islands to my home on the mainland. (Those got put into a box to go with me, for sure.) I contemplated the roofing nails dangerously sticking through the wood above me, and wondered if the roofers used the wrong size and how it is that water never finds its way through the holes. I was thankful for that.
My head took a Left then and I chastised myself for sitting in a motionless muse listening to rain when I should've been out there sorting things, but my Right mind shushed me. Ego grumbled about how crazy I would look to anyone that walked in the room. I mean seriously, I’m sitting on a makeshift wood slat floor in the middle of a partially empty closet, surrounded by discarded clutter, doing nothing. Pad the walls, lock the door, and call it a day, right? But my soul was enjoying the peace too much to care.
Finally, I ran out of things to think and was left with only the awareness of my breathing. A line I read in a book floated past my conscious:
The breath breathes itself.
Inhale… exhale... In... out... the breath breathes itself... do without doing*. As within, so without. Effortless natural rhythm, inside and out. And there was nothing but silence on the backdrop of rain.
When I finally emerged from the attic still in that kinda between state, I found it was over an hour later. Time is such a fickle concept.
The other day in my rant I said "I'm moving, not dying" but maybe I should take that back. I suppose this is a death of sorts, just not a physical one. I tend to lose myself in relationships, but I have a hard time seeing just how far I've drifted off course until I can stand outside and gain some perspective. When I do, it can be a killing moment.
I've looked back on my past before and wondered who was living my life in certain periods because I can no longer relate to the person I used to be. Perhaps someday the same will be true here, who knows. Even so, I see the thread that stitches all those different incarnations together. It's organic and shimmery and made of magic things physics can't explain, and it's getting Lighter by the minute.
*Othila is the rune under which this advice appears in Ralph Blum's rune book. I know, it was bugging me too so I had to go look it up.