overhaul / undertow

Friday, May 09, 2003

brain din

I walked again this morning around the streets near my house. It's really quite pretty and I think I'm gonna try to keep it up daily. Flowers that are buds one day blossom on my next trip past.

The houses are all old, Craftsman style and range from bungalows ensconced securely in old growths of trees and climbing vines and intricate gates to large things with huge picture windows I can see in through, and look at people's overlarge livingrooms, where not a thing seems out of place. One clapboard house always exudes a smell of mothballs when I walk by, which I love because it reminds me of my grandparents' old house.

Walking around today I found myself narrating the entire little journey in my head, language in my own brain thinking for me, as though I was telling a story I might read, or write, later. [I wonder--am I doing that now?]

It was a sensation that, once I was aware of it, abruptly became uncomfortable. To hear the cogs and wheels smoothly clicking away between your ears and there seems to be...nothing...you can do...to turn it off.

As I walked it just smoothly went on: "What a gorgeous rose. All yellow with pinked edges. I imagine the rest will bloom by tomorrow. I could never afford a house like this...oh! look at the date stamped in the sidewalk...this one says 1952...I think that's the earliest one I've seen so far...the rest are all repairs from 1992...he's driving much too fast for a little residential street like this, I don't care if he is going downhill...I'm surrounded by so much privelege, and...hey! what a fascinating pattern that gate is made into. I like how they would stylize the old gates as much as the houses...it seems to be an Arts-And-Crafts architectural phenomenon...and..." and on and on and on. I couldn't stop it.

I tried. It slowed to a crawl, and each time it attempted to take off again I'd just gently try to put it away, and let silence fill my head. But the world kept invading with sights and sounds and smells, and even my own awareness of the process made the voice start up again, narrating my own attempts at silencing myself: "No no no, don't start with that...okay, this is what you are supposed to do when you meditate....[and then I'd silence it again, but it would slowly rise up...]...so focus on something else. Breathe. Focus on you breath...[and I'd put it away again]..."

It was very hard, but I arrived back at my door having achieved, for a few seconds on and off, a bit of silence in my brain which, since I began to learn words, has been thinking with such florid and multilayered languages that I barely feel my feet on the ground sometimes.

The quiet was nice, for this girl who thinks too much.


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