I always revert to a kid the first night I come down with a cold. The scratchy throat, cacophony of sneezes, and mismatched energy like today's springtime in winter temps make me want to drink my orange juice out of a sippy cup. It's only a cold and no big deal. (Swallows post nasal drip.) This is true.
I missed two parties tonight. One, a 40th birthday celebration of a dear friend. The other, a goodbye-I'm-off-to-LA-sendoff for someone amaze. A young writer turned digital editor at a major publication. Her life a mirror of what I once thought mine would be like when I was her age (minus the social media/digital component bc it was the early 2000s and I wasn't that prescient). Her party, one that I've imagined I would someday throw myself.
Yet New York keeps me here still.
Curled up on my couch with Charlie to watch the Oscar nominated film Moonlight was hardly a bad way to spend the night. (I mean, if I'm going to be sick.) I long to create a film so powerful in its simplicity and brave in its subject matter. I loved the pacing, I loved the performances, and I loved the score.
As I am coming off this retreat, I can't help but pause and sit in silence, which I am fortunate to have in my NYC apartment. It is the strangest impulse but not in the context of what I did over the last week -- sit in SILENT meditation for 5-6 hours a day at an ashram. The periods were either 24 minutes or 48 minutes at a time. A few of the meditations were walking barefoot in a small room, but most were sitting or lying down in shivasana. The tradition was Shamatha, which means "calm abiding," and Vipashyana with the occasional Tantric influenced guided visualizations thrown into the mystic.
The sounds were Breath. Birds. Water. (Also the voices in my head, but we'll save all that for another post.)
When I closed my eyes each night, I gave myself permission to dream. Notebook under pillow I laid down ready catch their meaning at any point before the alarm clock interrupted my narrative. When I woke at 5:45am each morning, I forgave myself for not remembering much. I did know from the feeling whether they were pleasant (often they were not).
the dark buds of dreams
In the center
of every petal
is a letter,
and you imagine
if you could only remember
and string them all together
they would spell the answer...
-Mary Oliver, Dreams
If you are not searching, if you are not seeking, if you are not questioning, are you really paying attention? If you are not giving yourself space to explore, then whose life are you really living? She asks her Self.
I want chicken soup minus the noodles. Instead, I will go walk Charlie and sleep this off before it gets too late.
Oh, and happy new moon solar eclipse in Pisces, heyyyy! It promises to bring a good renewal, I am told. :D