It’s always tough to get back on the pony after she’s kicked your sorry ass off. With over a weeks worth of boring fitness updates to plug into this thing here and little meaningful progress to highlight it with … well, you get it. I ran 35+ miles last week, some of those were good miles. I also lifted some weights and stood on a scale a few times. Other than that there really isn’t a lot to tell. How about some life news while I ponder the next step in this fitness chronicle? Yes, thank you, that does sound good.
As of a couple of days ago I now have a totally bitchin’ Mohawk, so I think it’s pretty obvious some things are going to be changing for me. Sometimes you have to let Eris borrow the car. You do. I knew that as a young man and am relearning it today. While my wife and daughter were visiting family in Florida this last week I had the privilege of going out drinking with some super-cool black dudes. And while yes that last statement might be considered just left of racist (On MLK parade day no less), I can report back that it was both something I’ve never done before and an extremely refreshing experience. Now as Mohawks go that’s neither here-nor-there – just another seemingly random thing I did. Also none of my new chums believed I’d actually get the nuts up to take on such an absurdly dickish hairdo, so surprising them was also fun. What’s important is the never done before bit. I’ve had a little taste of that sweet and scary confection this past week and had forgotten how delightfully addicting it can be. Sure a Mohawk on anyone in this day and age, much less a 30+ year old man (errr … Croation woman), is sound evidence of a butt-fucking dickface. I get that. It is after-all half, or even a good deal more than half, of the outrageously pleasing point. But this must be acknowledged: Mohawks look cool on little boys and anachronistic punk rock chicks. Mr. T has pulled it off all these years because he’s crazy and willful. No other reason. If you’re not a child or an already pretty cute young lady who just discovered the Sex Pistols, excellent chance the Mohawk isn’t going to be a good look for you. I’m saying stuff.
So that (to use a Richard Dawkins coinage that I hate ) is the meme, chaos. I’m a month off course of the true Zodiac, but Pisces owns my (h)air with her whirling fishies anyhow. She being the many splendo(u)red sign of change, and the last of the always formidable water Nyads. It should be seen as no accident that astronomers, both modern and otherwise, placed these powerful discordian water signs out in the farthest reaches of our known solar system when naming things that circle our star while spinning: Eris and Neptune. Out by the celestial wild west of the Oort cloud’s cusp, frozen but free.
That’s some excitingly frisky nonsense I just typed. Much better than: ran 6 miles today in blahBblah and :65436763546 seconds. Foot hurt, used ice. Speaking of nonsense, perhaps now would be a good time to go into my daily (Meaning 3-4 times per. week – whenever I say daily it should be understood that this is what I mean) spiritual practice. Yes, I’m also a very lazy guru. A spiritual guide of extremely limited magic and motivation. Remember, the only Zen you’ll find at the top of the mountain is the Zen you bring up there. Which also happens to be true of anything else you might carry and any other similar ascendable peak: the only cheeseburgers you’re going to find on top of your house are the ones you bring up there. See? How’s that? Half a paragraph deep and I’m already dropping some insanely heavy wisdom. Try this little quote: “Don’t go looking for stuff where you’re not sure it will be. Instead, bring the stuff with you! That way you’re sure to have it when you get somewhere” ~Yosef Barbo Wow! I’m fucking nailing it today!!! That ones going in a book of quotations. Eat me, Winston Churchill! Get your fat, dead ass out of that tomb and enjoy the penis and butthole I’ve prepared for you in my underpants. Snarky dead cunt!
… but of course also a brilliant statesman. England did not become Germany Part Zwo, and that pompous dickface had a lot to do with it. Respect!
My current spiritual practice is very simple and rewarding. In fact, if you were so inclined to try it, you could literally start today without any extra preparation and probably have a pretty fun experience. Yes, I’ll describe it to you as if teaching it to you. While unlikely, the assumption is harmless. So this is what you’ll need for the practice, rapt disciple:
1. Between 15 – 30 minutes of absolute solitude. Good chance you’ll only need the low-end, but keep a half hour clear for safety sake.
2. A notebook and reliable pen or pencil.
3. A watch, clock or even cell phone; something portable that tells time.
4. A spot on the floor that you can sit.
That’s all you need. Easy, right? Now down to business.
The first thing you’ll want to do is assume the half-lotus on the floor spot you’ve previously selected.
Worried that you don’t know how to meditate? Don’t. Either nobody knows how to meditate or there is nothing to know. All I want you to do is sit in a position roughly similar to the clay monster above, with your eyes open (only slightly open if that is more comfortable for you) and your portable time keeping device positioned somewhere you can easily glance at it. While seated try hard to clear your mind of thought, but don’t get frustrated if that proves difficult. A good way to quiet a busy ego is to focus on breathing. Counting breathes can help. And even repeating something internally like: this is my breath going into me ‘1’ this is my breath coming out of me ‘1’ this is my breath going into me ‘2’ this is my breath coming out of me ‘2’. Sound tedious? Oh it can be, sometimes unendurably so, but you only owe 10 minutes to start so just try to relax into it. On a typical sit, if my mind and body prove responsive, I’ll lower my rate of respiration from around 12 per minute to 6-8, and my pulse will fall into the 50’s – even once or twice the high 40’s. I’ve also been able to disconnect my breath focus, but that took some practice so don’t worry about that out of the gate. None of that last shit is important actually, I’ve just recorded it for my own amusement. Ignore the bookkeeping, just focus on breath.
After meditating do your level best to get your notebook and writing utensil. Your mind and body will be slow to respond to these prompts, so don’t be surprised if it takes you a while. Once obtained, get back to your spot on the floor and write as fast as humanly possible for 5 minutes. This is called automatic writing, and it is probably the exact opposite of Zen meditation. There is really nothing procedural for me to teach you. Just try hard to lift your mental filter and pour out 5 minutes of handwriting as fast as you can. Everything you’ve got!
A couple of warnings:
A. If you’re doing the writing correctly your brain will put down some things without your permission, and some of those things you may not like. That’s just the way it goes … if there is anything to learn in the process it is within those dark secrets.
B. In all probability after meditation you will only be able to write at about half (maybe a little more) of your normal handwriting blitz speed. That can be very frustrating, but try not to brood on it. Any little hang-up like that can (not will, just can) pollute your output. You’ll catch yourself writing something like: whywontmyhandworkwhywontmyhandworkwhywontmyhandwork over and over again. Unproductive stuff. and if interest demands as much, you are of course free to do an automatic writing session without meditating first. You’ll find the experience much different, though no less rewarding.
So why do this anyway? Well, like the late great prophetic poet William Blake, I believe the entire point of a personal spiritual journey is to seek the stuff people are made of, human fiber over the divine. I’m indifferent to the topic of god … or, no. That isn’t true. I’m very interested in god, it just doesn’t have a lot to do with my exploration. I believe that most people (myself heartily included!) have a limited understanding of who or even what we are – a troubling hypothesis on my part when considering how vehemently many in our world claim to understand the whimsy of our creator. However, unlike our lord, there are methods, or at least hypothetical methods, for discovering some knowledge of our inner-space. I believe my little experiment is just such a method and I’d like to offer a sample of my writing for your inspection.
Spoiler Alert: a large percentage of what is to follow will be utter Jabberwocky. I picked the most benign recent sample I could find, many of the others are highly sensitive and/or upsetting to virtually any and everyone. Also, to borrow Freudian jargon, this is really about gaining access to the Id while awake; ergo, much of what will be perceived gibberish to you is really something of a highly specific cypher to the writer (me). In other words, this example is a novelty. It can show you something like what might come out of you in this exercise, nothing more. Enjoy!
Automatic Writing: 01.14.11
What is automatic writing? The automatic, automatic? Is it coffee? Is it a coffee place? Is it a coffee and question mark place today? I am here on the floor. the carpet churns chocolate-colored snowflakes at me. I am on them as though falling. My notes are white against the milk chocolate spiral. I’m thinking in Tarot: King of Swords, Four of Cups. Penis and quadrilateral vagina. I have my watch and my coffee. I owe 5 minutes. This is thesis writing, automatically. I am on the ground and the pressure is slowing my hand. The pressure of gravity and an awkward body position combined.
I am a believer in the handwriting, the automatic handwriting. On a computer I would not be able to see how I’ve accentuated ‘ground’ and ‘vagina’. Also ‘accentuate’ and ‘a question’ have been altered. Though perhaps I just don’t write the word ‘accentuate’ free hand enough? It looks funny. Like a rolling centipede. questions!
So that’s automatic writing – 5 minutes worth a few days back. nothing outlandish there … maybe 200 words, maybe less. Please give my experiment a shot and report back. I know you wont, but if you did I’d like to hear about it.
Alsoalsoalso, in closing and unrelated: two days ago I ran 17 miles pretty easily in 3 hours with a lot of stops (bathroom, coca cola). It was a great run and good confidence booster. That’s all you’re getting for fitness updates. Suck dog farts. Do it. If you don’t have a dog I’m sure you can borrow one. Grab that little beast, get to squeezing on his tummy, and play him like a squirming set of bagpipes. You’re a fart sucker, don’t let me tell you your business. Just get to work!
This blog is long and helps no one with anything. I am maybe 32 days from the Marathon … I’ll get back on that soon. Yes. That is my intention. Perhaps tonight even … perhaps not.
Good morning blogosphere!