thoughts like feathers
by third planet living
I’ve been thinking about the concept of time. Most everyone would agree that time passes a hell of a lot faster now than it did when we were kids. While I agree that the universe is a-changin’, it has not changed drastically in the twenty seven years I’ve been on the planet, so I think it is safe to assume that time is not, in effect, passing faster. Agreed?
It’s obviously our perception of time. I have the good fortune of studying under some of the most awesome teachers in the world- the itsy bitsy children in my life who run and play and don’t give a thought to “later” and definitely not to “tomorrow” or “next year.” Bottom line and main difference between them and me? They live in the present and I am continuously dipping my toes in the future.
I started thinking about my life, especially my life in theatre, and everything seems to be geared toward the future. Deadlines, openings, closings…. I live 99% of my life in my mind while the remaining 1% is spent twittering around making sure all the tasks my mind delegates get completed. And time is just flying by. Which leads me to
Nirvana. A seemingly intangible concept reserved for a select group of eastern buddhas, but now that I think about it…. I’ve experienced moments of nirvana. Maybe that’s a contradiction; “moments” of nirvana. But I accept that it is not my lot in this lifetime to achieve true spiritual nirvana. I wish it were. But my hands are too deliciously muddied with the indulgence in the human experience- so I’ve got to get it where I can. And the only way to describe my particular nirvana moments is being completely absorbed in a full sensory experience at the time I was experiencing it.
One such moment:
I was sitting in my car in a parking lot several years ago. I had an old spliced Doors cassette playing that I had recorded from an LP. It was dusk, and overcast, and two seagulls and a crow were scrapping over some spilled crackers that were scattered across the asphalt. Riders On The Storm came on, and I swear to god, the music was in exact alignment with the movements of the birds…. they dove in sync with those wicked keyboard waterfalls, and it was like… I couldn’t breathe. Then the baseline came in and my heart probably stopped. Time stood still, it was so perfect. The grungy lot, my foggy car windows, the gray sky and the black wings crisscrossing the white…. Total visceral perfection. The world for me was in complete alignment and god was scratching at my ribs. Which brings me to
Hot coffee on the crotch. Or tea, as the case was with me. One of the kids knocked into me once while I was holding a huge mug of the hottest tea that ever existed. Spillage, directly to the crotch-al region. Well, as the denim of my skirt (which was now approximately six thousand degrees) conformed right to my skin and I couldn’t pull it away, there was absolutely nothing else happening in that moment other than my tenders being in excruciating pain. Boy was I in the moment. 🙂
Which makes me thing about the sense of touch.
I think as humans, we favor this sense above all others. If it feels good, lordy, sign me up. And I have a thought about why…. The sense of touch, more than any other, has a way of disconnecting us from anything else going on. I can be having an intense conversation, but if someone comes up and starts tickling my arm…. My head drops, I stop talking… I don’t want to do anything but feel that. Or how about kissing someone? Feeling someone’s face against yours, all the different touch sensations involved with that. Let the world spin on brother, I’m kissing. That’s all I’m doing.
I think we crave this sensation of being in the moment, because it is here where thoughts can stop whirring… Where time slows down and where we can begin to feel our own essence. Maybe it’s why people feel such a connection with sex, because another person is helping you towards nirvana. When normally it’s such a sad and solitary endeavor.
All I know, is the times when I have felt the greatest peace, were times when I stopped to appreciate the wind, or listen to the way gravel crunched under my feet, or watch a spider spin a web, eat a slow meal or sing a baby to sleep. Moments when I didn’t have to do anything other than what I was doing.
Now, this last theatrical experience, with The Listener, seemed different than usual. I was really enjoying the company of my friends, the artistic outlet… it was equally about the process as it was the product, and it felt really darn good. And so that is what I will work towards… being present and grounded in each moment… putting all of myself into whatever it is I’m doing… allowing time for connection, and slowing gently down.
I don’t know y’all. These are just thoughts I am having tonight. Thoughts that may seem foreign and outdated come tomorrow… But that are alive tonight.