Wednesday, December 22, 2010

...Asking Why Can be Bad for Your Health...

Even though I enjoy the peace and quiet, there is definitely a downside to choosing to keep to yourself.

What starts as way of protecting yourself and /or assuming responsibility for your own actions can sometimes becomes a liability.

For example, if you fall into a spinning vat of your thoughts, and the thoughts are unhappy or unhealthy, there’s no one to hit the off switch.

No one to keep you from falling down when you try to crawl out still dizzy from the spin.

No one to look back and laugh at it about with.

Just you.

The whole thing started with the worst possible string of words you could ever allow to leave your lips: Why did this happen?

It’s one thing to ask “how did this happen?” because it’s potentially a solution-seeking question, but starting a question with “why” is almost never a good idea. The answer will either be too defensive to result in anything but more questions, and possibly some accusations; or it will be too subjective to be practical.

But I was cold, and frustrated, angry, jabbing at my frozen car doors with a screw driver and some sudsy water and one thought did a backward flip into another and before I knew it the question popped up in my head: Why did this happen?

It wasn’t even about the car anymore. I tried to bring the focus back, but the more I chipped at the ice the worst it got. It’s those mundane activities that do it: Washing dishes. Scrubbing the toilet or bathtub. Taking a shower or detangling your hair. It’s like that old Tillie Olsen story, "I Stand Here Ironing."

I stand here chipping.

Last night I was on my back in bed with my eyes closed. When I opened them I saw far up above me just barely grazing the ceiling what I can only describe as a horizontal rain storm of semi-translucent lights. Millions, possibly billions of them moving at tremendous speed. I failed at trying to blink them away and ending up staring at them until I fell asleep.

When I was a kid I would see floating speckles of color in the dark and I could reach out and grab them or swirl them around the air with my fingers, but I think I was making those up to calm myself from all the things that used to scare me in the dark. My insomnia was far worst as a kid than it is now. For years, the only time I could get any sleep was between 3 and 4:30 in the afternoon. I can hardly believe that I survived like that, but I guess I did. I’m here, right?

These days I sleep a little better, but apparently I’m still seeing things. Maybe.

I really don’t think that I made up whatever was in my room last night.

After all that chipping, it turns out that windshield wiper fluid on a cloth applied to your door frame will unfreeze your doors. But the car went out again today, and I ended up missing the memorial service of a good friend.

I keep feeling like I’m getting all of these messages to just sit and be still but there’s no answer when I ask what to do with whatever comes up during those “still” moments. And maybe I’m not supposed to know what to do with whatever comes up. Maybe I’m supposed to let it come up and then let it go right by. Maybe that’s the point of being still. Instead of trying to stay ahead of it, I need to let it lead and trust that it will take me in the right direction. Maybe if you run it just chases you like it’s a game. I’m so tired of running. And I’m not a big fan of these types of games.

I just have to remind myself that asking questions is always a good idea - -as long as they are the right questions.

* * *

I never heard of Alori Joh before a few weeks ago, but I'm glad I was finally introduced.

This song made me a little teary-eyed. "Let You Shine" features a sample from another beautiful song called "Boats and Birds" by Gregory and the Hawk. So one great artists lead me to another.

Boats and Birds original...


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