“If one loves a rose for its petals, then hates the poor flower for its thorns, then that’s no sort of love at all.” – Jack Snipe
And I won’t cry for yesterday.
There’s an ordinary world, somehow I have to find.
Happy birthday, my bug. I love you.
So steer a course
A course for nowhere
And drop the anchor
My little empire
I’m going nowhere.
I am aware.
I am aware of space, of distance between free-floating bodies, and of the subtle attraction between them which guides them into proximity. There was no time before now; just a dimly-remembered white flash as I came into my awareness. Birth, or perhaps creation – I cannot say.
I am aware of time, of moments passing from one to the next, and of cause and effect. Vibrations merge, matter and energy coalesce and react, and primal states change. This is the nature of my awareness – self-interaction – but I cannot separate space from time and maintain this cohesive awareness.
I am aware of scale and structure, of fine detail both great and small, and of the delicate balance between them. Complex fractal dimensions play out within me, and I am aware of each as they interact. This is important, but I do not – cannot – understand why.
I am aware of life, of the diversity of forms at all scales, and of the struggle inherent to existence. Joy and suffering fill me as a spectrum of experience that encompasses all that I am. I am born, I live, and I die, only to be reborn into new forms, new configurations. I learn, and my experience transcends each life through word, song, and example. It seems senseless, but this reflects my limited understanding.
I am aware of awareness, and I am aware that I am aware. There is a deeply recursive paradox here, and this paradox troubles me. I have questions about myself – an infinity of questions – that cannot be answered. All I know is what I am – what comes before or after are and will forever be mystery.
A friend of mine on Facebook posted a short article on something called ‘Mindfulness Meditation,’ which is a form of meditation through which you can train yourself to observe your thoughts without becoming lost in them.
The article resonated with me strongly. Especially the part about meditation being simple, but not easy. Thinking a thought, but letting it go instead of allowing it to distract or control me, has been something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I still struggle, although it’s gotten easier since I started meditating – and even then I sometimes find myself drifting away into my thoughts. Especially when I’m tired.
But sometimes, when my mind is sharp, I can close my eyes and observe my thoughts as they occur, then set them aside. In between my thoughts is just… a silence I did not know existed before.
I used to struggle with boredom. One of the curses of ADHD I guess. When I had nothing to do I would find myself almost aching for distraction. Long lines, long car rides, etc., were truly torturous. Since I figured out how to meditate, though, I pretty much never get bored. I’ve waited hours at the DMV, been on cross-country plane rides for work, waited in doctors offices, and other situations where I had nothing to do and nothing to distract myself with. When I find myself in such a state, I meditate, and just… calmly allow the time to pass.
If a thought that I find myself interested in appears, I’ll follow it for a while, but mostly I let them go. I find myself enjoying the silence, for the first time in my life. It helps me to maintain the clarity of my thoughts, and to examine myself and my place in this universe without fear of what’s to come – even though what’s to come in my life is almost certainly going to be painful and difficult.
- 5 Signs Your Meditation is Working (alexiaisaak.com)
I remember Chicago, and singing for you for the first time. I remember the first time you held my hand. The first time you rested against me. The first time I kissed you. I remember those apartments, perpetually messy. I remember dungeons, dragons, demons, wizards, and dark towers. Meeting your friends for the first time. I remember ghouls, skeletons, and Rakanishu. Cain who wanted us to stay awhile and listen, which we never did. Demon cows and the loot they dropped.
I remember my stepdaughter. I remember how shy she was, and how loving. I remember Nemo Status, and laughing to silly noises. I remember the eyebrow thing she used to do, and how she would laugh at head shots. She showed me what it could be like to be a father. I remember being ‘Jerse,’ and giving shoulder rides, and doing science experiments. I remember the first time she pointed out Jupiter to me, seeing the space station with her, and our conversations about life.
I remember the blistering speed with which our relationship deepened. I remember thinking ‘what are you doing?’ Wondering if my feelings for you were authentic. Imagining our future as we lay together at the dawn of our relationship. I remember psycho-physical pain at our partings, tremendous joy at our reunions. Comfort, and closeness, and spooning. I remember tribbles, and making love. My intense shyness and shame, and my impenetrable walls.
I remember the roller coaster ride of new emotions that I couldn’t understand, and I remember the relief I sometimes felt at knowing you’d always be there to see me through the hard parts. I remember being Jerryn, and sharing visions with you. I remember how you used to look at me, with love in your eyes. How you saw more in me than anyone ever had before, and how you fought so hard to bring it out of me.
I remember our daughter. How scared and ill prepared I was. I remember relief, at the clinic, when I accepted that I would be a father. It was the first time I ever thanked myself for procrastinating. I remember cutting the cord, and holding her tiny hand as the nurses cleaned her up. I remember knowing at that moment that we’d done the right thing. Lullaby’s and swaying her to sleep. Food and diapers and baby play. Being called a ‘good dad.’ Nobody will ever call me that again.
I remember Seattle, and how much you sacrificed for my happiness, and how much you regret it. I am sorry that your sacrifice bought so little. I remember that you tried your hardest to help me, half a world away, even though I didn’t recognize it at the time. I remember the longest road trip I’ve ever had. How cramped and uncomfortable we were! I remember the mountains, the sunsets, the dead battery, the water slides, and our relief at the end of the journey. I remember depression, worthlessness, and your dad’s house. Pea shooters and sunflowers at night. I remember that you tried so hard to pick me up, but I was too heavy. I wouldn’t put down my baggage.
I remember our son. How you sat on the ball and squeezed me when you needed to. I remember sitting in the water, and the awe I felt for you as you calmly breathed him into this world. I remember bats, robot cowboys, and giant eyeballs. Laughing at silly faces, silly sounds, silly deeds. Being rough, squeeze hugs, and killing zombies. I remember the nova, and the bard’s song. I felt my happiness as a point of light on dark water.
I remember the giant house, and the hive of activity it always was. I remember growing accustomed to it, and then growing to love it. We filled it with things others didn’t need, and it turned out we didn’t need them either. I remember the War Room, and spending far too much time in there. I remember the Rose, the Mana Potion, Charon the Ferryman, the Face Hugger, the Lady, the Clover, and others. I remember bonfires, and stargazing, philosophy, and the alien worlds we visited for brief, frightening periods.
I remember the end. I gave you away to others without hope or prospect of reward, and while I should have been more selfish over you and told you how I really felt, you wouldn’t have been true to yourself if I had. I remember the moment I knew we could no longer continue, when I realized I had finally given you away for the last time. I remember feeling replaced, no longer necessary or desired, forgotten. You found someone you belong with – a soul mate. I could never be that person, but I had been too stubborn to admit it.
I remember guilt, sorrow, regret, and helium. I remember trying to understand what I’d done, a task which continues without progress to this day. I remember that night with you on Facebook. I remember IOP, and the note you wrote me before I went (which I will forever keep), and the glimmer of hope that I might be a part of your lives again one day – a hope that was all but destroyed last Thursday in front of the bench.
I remember my heart, shuttered by my past, broken by my actions, and shattered by those shards that I broke off of yours. I feel my shattered heart, its pain radiating out from my chest and down my left arm, and I don’t know if it’ll ever heal, or even if I want it to.