Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mental Facilities, Frosty Heaven, and the Jitters.

It's 6:11 pm, wednesday afternoon, on August 12th, 2009. 

I'm taking a break from moving (yes.. still!). I have a cold frosty in hand, and am savoring the living s*t out of it. Why does this taste SO good??? Like as if I have never had vanilla ice cream before. It's so hot outside, and my fingers ache from all the lifting and pulling of heavy frames in and out of my car. I feel sunburned, but I'm not. A thin layer of scum is becoming the norm on my skin lately (and I wonder why I'm still single...).  

But seriously, this is the best Frosty I have ever had. It has even managed to lower my body temperature to something a little more normal. Perhaps I am having a Ranier Maria Rilke moment... he used to write poems about objects that were more than they appeared. He wrote an entire poem about a cane once. The imagery was of a man with some sort of spinal disease walking on a bridge. He would walk and go into convulsions. All the kids would stare at him and he was very lonely. Then, mid-poem, he realizes he can use a cane(or was it an umbrella?) to support his spine while he walks and make it straight. All of a sudden, something quite normal becomes the most important thing to that man... it provides acceptance and normalcy to him.
Quite beautiful, really. 
So, back to the Frosty. "Hail to the Wendy's Gods", one might say. But really... this object, delicious-soothing-vanilla-goodness-thing, is saving me from insanity right now. It's a bit of a contradiction, when you think about it. I have to have been sweating, working, going through the trenches of moving hell just to taste this gorgeous thing. If I was just driving around in my air conditioned car, this Frosty would be, well, let's be frank folks, pretty mediocre. 

So is that the trick? Work and wait and hold on, and you can taste the sweetness of life? Hard times make small things seem important? 

Ode to ye cane, ode to ye Frosty. 

You always hear about those war stories when people would savor a piece of meat or candy, or something they were not allowed to have. It was gold to them, because there was nothing. Everything had been taken away. 

I'm not going to jump on the anti-consumerism train. We all know it, we all do it, we all live with it, and we all somewhat hate it. 

But today I'm going to try a little experiment. What if you don't give yourself that thing you want right away? What if you work for it, if you hold back a little? Will it taste better later? 
Who knows. Rilke seems to be better at this stuff than me. 
I 'm still reading the book I mentioned in the last post.  The chapter last night was about not causing harm. It wasn't really in reference to others. It was more to yourself. When that void hits... you know, when you DON'T give yourself what you want right away, what do you do? Do you fill it? Do you run? Most of us do. We HATE being uneasy, restless, and groundless. It is an insecure place. But this woman claims to ease into it. Realize how you react when you are uncomfortable... do you get itchy and can't sit still? Do you drink? Do you eat? Do you blare the music? Do you call someone for company? 
Really watch what you do. I had this feeling last night, of wanting something and not being able to have it. I got panicky, made up some dumb excuse to drive around town (by the way... this little driving adventure made me listen to Rachmaninov during a hard storm. I got lost, only to end up at Moccasin Bend Facility for Mental Health......uh,  yeah. ) , called my mom, cried, surfed the internet, and took a bath. And then, after all of that, I watched myself. Wow. I'm a jittery, nervy, twitchy person. Take away the thing that I want, and I get all scratchy and anxious. Hmm. So I sat with it. I didn't get mad at myself. I just watched. Even just watching it shot me out of it. What a trip! (mental health facilities included).
I guess there are two parts to this blog: refrain from giving yourself exactly what you want, when you want it, and see how you react. Then see how sweet it feels when what you want comes more naturally. 

But what the hell do I know. 


shopsmart said...

Why do I have this image of your frosty melting as you typed this long post? lol

As my old economics teacher used to say, "The wants will always out number the needs." Oh yeah, and "when the opportunity cost gets too high, you gotta make a trade-off!" Rule number one, it is all about scarcity. *laughs like a snake* (Sorry, haha, I couldn't help but do my impression on him as I typed this.)

Jim said...

Thinking about watching yourself as you go through feelings, emotions, pain, panic, whatever. Back in December we talked about Vipassana. We still haven't had a really good follow-up to that conversation. Dabbled only. Your writing reminded me a lot of what we did in that retreat. We were taught to sit, watch and feel and experience. Without labeling, without trying to understand, fix, explain. Just let the feelings rise, be with them, then watch them as they pass. Good luck with that journey. Perhaps one day we can pick that conversation back up.