Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I Was Thinking



It’s 1:30 in the morning, 77-degrees Fahrenheit and 79% humidity. After a few days with afternoons near 100-degrees, it's the first time in maybe three days I've ventured outside for more than a minute or two at a time… and at this hour ~ in this season ~ the songs of the toads and crickets and the quiet itself are overwhelming.

With the family asleep, I thought I'd enjoy some mint tea on the patio and maybe write a little. Settling into my chair, I relax and ask a quiet mind for topics to consider. Somehow, though, circumstances such as they are, the only visions appearing from just inside the fog are dark and bitter. I don't want to feel like that right now, nor do I want to post that poison for others. So I don't.

Instead, I pause for a breath... and then maybe another… and habitually return to my tea and consider what this all may mean and what I should do.

Acting on instinct at a time like this may well collapse all of what is possible into a much smaller universe of negative outcomes. What do I mean by this? Well, first is a practical matter, and that is that I may be noticed. If the universe is on the fence about what to do with you and you start playing the fool, your action pending an outcome may affect that outcome. The second is not such an obvious matter of cause and effect, but it may be more important: If your mind is poisoned with a negative view and you dwell on assuming ill intent or the worst case scenarios, you may be blind to any positive options offered or works in progress. Either way, the end is the same: You may only have whatever solace comes with an "I was right" or an "I told you so” after the fact.

So what about all of this thinking itself? All thinking is “wishful thinking,” isn’t it? If I’m on the lookout for a positive outcome or a negative outcome, I may well find it – after all, I do like being right, even if it’s about something terrible… and if I’m focused specifically on this outcome or that outcome, I may well be blind to others. I conclude that I might as well focus on who I’d like to be should a positive reality happen to come along.

… either that or I limit myself to outcomes that can only be compatible with a worldview that is not compatible with me. For instance, if I have to force or to trick an outcome that feels positive to me, do I want to live with the reinforced notion that I am separate from all of this and somehow above all of that, and that to succeed or to maintain the result means more force or more trickery? Certainly that would mean expecting that everyone else is treating me in that same way. Would people really enjoy a lifetime living in that world?

The temperature of the psyche is visible everywhere, even in the quiet in the middle of the night ~ even against the croaking and chirping of invisible toads and crickets. Half of my thoughts are true while the other half are lies while the truth itself ~ if it exists at all ~ is far from where my attention lies. So instead of examining the details of this conversation with myself, maybe it’s enough to realize what it’s saying about me.

So let that be my writing for tonight ~ the most positive thing I can say given my circumstances and given my experience, presented from the perspective of the person I will become.


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