Monday, January 17, 2011


I don't know the way forward from here. I've lost not only my meditation practice, but my far older habit of talking to myself, of hammering things out. I don't want to hammer things out, now. I'm afraid if I hammer on something it will collapse.

Well, it's just a surge of thoughts and feelings. It will be on its way in a moment. Meanwhile the dawn is coming. Even if I can't see it yet, in this brightly-lit kitchen, I can feel it, the same restlessness that gets the first birds piping in the pitch dark. Not light, but the seeds of light, beginning to germinate in the rain-soaked ground.

The German-made dishwasher works quietly. Kiki cracks a few dry kibbles ostentatiously, to let me know what my delay in opening a can of cat food has reduced her to. Floating on the air behind those sounds is only the faint silvery buzz my ears always produce nowadays -- an innocuous form of tinnitus, I suppose.

My mind wanders off for a few moments, wondering if Travell was right about SCM trigger points and tinnitus. Nothing intrinsically improbable about it, but I've never seen it work. I should experiment on myself. Maybe what's really wrong with me these days is that I can no longer hear the silence behind everything.

No. That silvery buzz is silence, now, for me -- it just sounds different, that's all.

6:30. Staff meeting this morning: I had better get going soon. Back exercises, shave, shower. I have an absurd impulse these days to document my morning routine, to photograph myself shaving, write poems about washing my hair, describe in detail how I tend my feet. A sense that without a witness all these things will be lost? A suspicion that I don't really exist? I'm not sure what that impulse is. I want to film my hand reaching for the razor, the water going down the shower drain. I want to make line drawings to document my sequence of back exercises, which magically keep low back pain, my old enemy, at bay. Odd that my fear of mortality should attach itself to this. All my writing, all my massage work, all the ideas I've argued about so passionately: all that can go away. Good riddance! But I'd be sad if the world never knew exactly how I shaved.

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