Today is Holy Thursday
and Meditating is
a Holy Hell
of a Time
There are weeks and
of my life
when I have a total hell
of a time
Everyone knows I like to meditate while balancing, "Women Who Run with the Wolves" on my head. "Women Who Run with the Wolves" is the only hardcover book I own.
In fact, that is not true.
I have a small hardcover book written by Eric Emmanuel Schmidt which I found in the Mile End Armoire where all the hipsters leave their junk. Altogether I possess five books. This includes Ina May's Guide to Childbirth which I'm only borrowing.
The novel by Eric Emmanuel Schmidt is not big enough to balance on my head.
I like to keep
French novels on my bedside table
in case that helps me learn French
while I'm sleeping.
Matthew Sanford is a yoga teacher and paraplegic and he says that balancing books on your head has similar benefits to handstand.
Other yoga teachers are somewhat concerned about headstand's risk to the cervical spine.
Headstands are one of the three things I know about my therapist Vincent. Vincent is learning to stand on his head. The thought of this warms my heart. Good for Vincent.
The other two things I know about Vincent are:
1. He seems to like citrus and apples.
2. He is skeptical about cooking with a crock pot as he believes that excess moisture might disrupt potential flavour.
It's possible that Vincent also plays tennis, but this I cannot confirm.
I did not quite finish what I had to say about balancing a book on my head.
While I was in Delhi,
I balanced Lena Dunham's book,
Not That Kind of Girl
on my head.
I meditated in the beautiful living room of my Cool Friend Fern's swanky apartment.
(I don't have a lot of experience
with the word swanky)
One time at my sister's house, I also balanced Not That Kind of Girl on my head.
(I wonder if Lena Dunham meditates)
That book was reasonably entertaining. I finished it on the train to Agra on the way to see the Taj Mahal and my billionth fort in two and a half weeks. I ended up giving Not That Kind of Girl to some fourteen to seventeen year old rickshaw drivers. I hope they made it to part about female orgasms being like a sneeze or like a seizure. For whatever reason, this was one of my favourite parts. I also liked the chapter about death. Just like Lena's brain, my brain is constantly permeated with the possibility of death and imminent catastrophe.
Me and Lena.
In addition to our death fixations, me and Lena both like sex and have each had our times in the sun with psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Unlike Lena, I never had a boyfriend who left me with the unforgettable knowledge on how to avoid tangling up your headphones forever. None of my boyfriends have helped me with this. Alas, and alack, more or less.
What I do
when I'm having
hell of a time
with Women Who Run with the Wolves
on my head:
Some people claim that to meditate for 30 minutes per day holds immense benefits. In many cases, this is true. One time on Facebook, I came up with the brilliant equation, 3+6+9+12=30. That is to say, you can meditate in chunks and do laundry in between. Everybody loved this tip. Today I did not bother with chunks, and bailed after fifteen minutes. I also did not bother to stretch my hamstrings or exert my ass muscles.
But here are some other tips, for you, or for Lena Dunham or for anyone else who wants to meditate:
1. Instead of sitting, lie down. Lying down is badass and radical.
You can stare at the clouds,
or the clotheslines, or the squirrels.
Or, close your eyes. Give the earth yours cells, and unravel, with tears, or without.
2. Think METTA phrases:
May I be safe,
may I be happy,
may I be healthy,
may I live with ease, and/or be free, and/or taste the perpetual and delicious goodness of lovingkindness as often as possible
Toward your roommates and/or your mother: May you + the above phrases.
For the whole world: May all and/or may we + the above phrases
3. I'm sorry, I love you, I forgive you, I thank you.
Simon, my ex-ex boyfriend the Hermit told me this one. You repeat it to yourself slash to your ego. Or to people who are driving you nuts. After two days of this meditation, Simon claimed he was cured. Simon jumped out of this world on January 4, 2015. He gave the earth all of his cells. By now his body has transformed into something entirely new. I was lucky to know him.
4. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat, "I love you just the way you are," or some other version of this. You can use a full-length mirror or just look at your face in the circle of your cover-up's compact. Please refrain from this exercise if it feels oppressive. I first learned of this sort of thing while reading Louise Hayes' book, "You Can Heal Your Life" as I considered various options for healing toenail fungus. One of the first things Louise gets her clients to do is to stare at themselves in a compact mirror and whisper to their faces, "I Love You." Most people cannot do this without weeping. I believed Louise and did not bother trying for a solid eight years. Now it is 2017 and the approximate anniversary of when Jesus washed his apostles' feed. I have taken up painting my ugly toenails purple. And somehow I am able to stare at my face in the tiny compact mirror, and whisper, "I LOVE YOU, ERICA."
On Tuesday, April 11, while I was staring at my face, I plucked only one stray hair between my eyebrows.
Like Lena Dunham, as a child of the nineties, I suffer from odd eyebrow chunks, and arbitrary bald patches. There's me and Lena, once again.
The last thing
I have to say
is about citrus.
But the second last thing is about Holy Thursday
when the Catholics get together
and wash each other's feet.
When I was nineteen years old, I was a bit of a darling. And I signed up to live and work in a L'Arche home for people with intellectual disabilities. For two years, I attended some sort of Catholic function at least two times per week. Many of us have a deep aversion to anything Catholic. I get that. The homophobia, anti-abortion discourse, and priests raping children - these make for quite the buzz kills. And yet, in my two years of kicking around the Catholics, I found that this brand of Jesus people are some of my favourites. Especially the nuns. I met so many spectacular and generous and delightful nuns. These humble women embodied service more deeply than anything I'd ever seen.
Anyways, the first time I ever ended up at a Foot Washing Ceremony was rather astonishing. I felt shocked to discover that it wasn't a metaphor. We were actually gonna take our socks off. Everyone washed someone else's feet and everyone's feet got washed.
Through the whole thing, the song they sang over and over again went,
"If I your Lord and Master, should wash, should wash your feet,
how much more must you, wash one another's too?"
I have often thought that as the baby boomers age, becoming one of those foot technicians who clips ingrown toenails, shaves off callouses and vacuums corns would almost certainly secure a solid income stream into this digital age, and beyond.
Now I will conclude with a short poem about citrus that was written on Monday, April 10, the Full Moon's Eve, and 2017's most beautiful day so far, on which I felt devastatingly oversized and rather weepy:
The world is in bloom.
I'm having a fat day.
I did not know
that worms do not
Once I brought a mason jar
mixed with vodka
up the mountain.
Two minutes ago
I looked into the window
and saw white pieces
of citrus in my hair.
|A holy hell of a time |
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