I caught myself fretting this morning. Fretting about nothing, really. In an attempt to distract myself and put all of this fretting aside, I now sit here in one of my favorite coffee shops and, the same as most days, put words on paper. Rarely do I sit here and do nothing. Mainly I think. Ideas and memories and perceptions are tossed around in some Binary Amphitheatre of the Surreal and the Real, whirling them around and shooting them out onto the page in salad-spinner style.
I find myself in this divergent universe . . . careening from idea to idea, losing story ideas in obscure files on my laptop. Slipping scraps of papers into the eight shallow drawers of my Idea Cupboard, an antique stove-top fruit dryer. Recording obscure phrases in the notebooks I keep in my purse and in my Magic Bag. Scribbling plots on coasters and fragile napkins. Recycling, inadvertently, insights that have been hastily – frantically – jotted on the back of junk mail envelopes. All of these many innate, blooming ideas and no way to corral all of them onto the page. They are born with such beauty and such ease. And then committing them to the page with any kind of flow leaves me feeling somehow . . . I don’t know . . . as I watch the essence of the vision that so easily presented itself to my brain vaporizing in my attempt to represent it.
It is within these moments of the ethereal, the absurd, and the real when I feel like I brush up against Now. I don’t know that this happens very often on any given day. There are so many opportunities to follow distractions and try them on for a while. And I, like so many, attempt mindfulness techniques that draw me back to what is now, what is reality.
On some days I am fortunate to discover the combination that makes the magic that I call mindful awareness. I sit here in this funky coffee shop with the wobbly table leg and listen to Bob Marley in the background. I overhear the conversation at the table next to me, hear the barista call out an order, hear a truck barrrrumping its way up the cobbled street in front of the coffee shop. I take one last sip of my room-cold coffee and watch the man with the pork-pie hat staring out the front window – just staring and thinking about something that appears to remove him from all of this noisy living.
Life is now. Life is good. Mindfulness destroys my fretting like a wave crashing against the rocks, creating pools of stillness that allow for the water molecules to calm and to rest until a sufficient wave freshens the pool with a new wave of renewed mindfulness. The action of the wave is necessary to keep things fresh.