Sunday, June 28, 2020

Meditation 78 (more or less)

28 June 2020

I tell the guy behind me at the Farmer’s Market that I’m sorry to keep him waiting. No such thing as time, he responds, it’s all a construct. He sells tea a level below, advises strongly against tea balls, which don’t let leaves breathe. They come into the hospital, a nurse says, crying that they can’t breathe. We tell them they’ll get better, but they don’t. He puts water and leaves in a big carafe and lets them sit overnight. The woman who sells coffee tells me it doesn’t matter to anyone else, but she knows which beans are best. Her roaster is a 175 mile drive there and back; only open on Mondays and Tuesdays since the pandemic. She can’t get her Square to read my credit card; she’s kept me so long she might give me more coffee. Time matters more when you can’t breathe. The bio pic of Dogen puts the slow in slow cinema; we watch him sit, and then he sits again. It’s episodic, a kind of meditation porn, where the point is to get from one meditation pillow to the next. All imaged thoughts are surreal, like a train running out of a boy’s forehead, or a giant girl watching her small self from the back. How to release them into an appropriate size and space. The girl thinks going over parallel bars might do it. I consider the violence it would take to free me from repetition. I saw myself drawn as a cartoon and then chopped to bits. Drop the name, someone said, so I did, and it resembled mine. The “conceit of deceit” is about thinking you have a self, Norman says. Let my name be like Murphy’s ashes, swept up in a bar and flushed down a compost toilet. In due time, something will grow out of it.



Janet said...

The progress of this through waiting in line, tea, coffee, Square, to the surreal/episodic and the idea of being freed from repetition, all beautifully linked, leading into the name/the compost toilet, which I don't quite follow, or it's bumpy getting there, maybe because the Murphy's ashes throws me. And sure, compost toilets will eventually create compost, but does the name deserve to be thrown in there?

susan said...

Murphy comes from Beckett's novel of that name. He wants his ashes flushed down the toilet of the Royal Theater in Dublin, but the man taking his ashes there spills them on the floor of a bar. And no, the name doesn't deserve to be flushed.