Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quietness of Thought

10:02 AM, 10 April 2014

At last I enjoy a full day to myself. There is a long to-do list. I’m already plugging along, trying to optimize my alone time. I want to go to bed tonight satisfied after a full day. I need to take Charlotte out after I get these words down. It is sunny out and the temperature is predicted to get warm, up to the 60s or thereabout. I consider 60 a toasty temperature now. When I was in the basement earlier I looked at the bin I keep of winter accoutrements: gloves, scarves, mittens, hats. I briefly thought of performing my yearly task of cleaning them, whether in washer or by hand, and hanging all out to dry in the spring sun. I stopped myself. There might be a few additional frigid days in our future. Spring is very slow arriving this year.

Easter, my most dreaded holiday, is next week. I will maintain a solid and humble attitude, appreciating the return of the sun, emerging green, and awakening woods. To me this religious holiday is always written in blood. When I was forced to attend church as a little girl I found it scary and foreboding. I never incorporated or fully understood the whole “rise from the dead” metaphor. I couldn’t get past all the celebrated and glorified cruelty and torture. It frightened me and the indoctrination didn’t hold.

So, in lieu of all the strange, ritualistic ceremonies taking place in the so-called houses of worship, I hope to go out into the woods and hug a maple or oak tree, look for frogs and wild hepatica, and listen to peepers. Our great mother spins on her axis and rockets around a star. She tilts toward the light, warms her backside, and all of us – trees, furry woodland creatures, and even lowly poison ivy, scramble to survive. I will celebrate survival, especially after the cruelest of winters.

Yesterday, after a second pain injection to my cervical vertebrae, I returned home, pulled my go-to ice pack out of the freezer and, as instructed, lay down and iced the area, twenty minutes on, twenty minutes off. The intent was to let the medication pool around the affected area and perform its magic. I am motivated to obtain the greatest benefit from these treatments, and so, despite the to-do list: I behave. Under enforced rest I muddled through the outstanding Words with Friends games on my iPod, read the latest New Yorker, and another 30 or so pages of V.S. Naipaul’s Bend in the River. I looked up at the ceiling, watched the little spider making his meager living around my curtain rods, and gazed up through the skylight, admiring drifting contrails and the spurts of robins and finches flitting about the local treetops. I thought of a dozen things to write about and scribbled a bit in my notebook but felt guilty for raising my head. I came to a rest finally, not sleep but a quietness of thought – contemplative, pleasant, and restorative. I record and describe this now because it is a place I want to return to. I find it sometimes while traveling, gazing out a train or plane window. A reverie of sorts, it uplifts and serves to heal my spirits.