It’s getting rougher and tougher, hard to find something to make one happy. And my fallback suggestion about picking up litter and smiling at people you meet in the street doesn’t seem to cut it. I tested positive for COVID, and felt lousy for a couple of weeks, today tested negative but still feel draggy. Besides going downstairs to get some scotch on the rocks with a splash of peaty single malt for a kicker, I’m scratching my head and coming up with splinters for uplifting stuff to share. If that’s the new reality it’s not very pleasant.
Screw it – first the scotch. Remember Havok’s logo: Write Drunk – Edit Sober. I can handle the first part.
Ah… I’m feeling better already. Had an idea on the way up, glass in hand. Back to Basics. It never hurts. And with my glass full, not such a problem. And as the scotch gets sipped, down the proverbial “Glass Half Full” it’s less of a problem. And when it’s empty – what’s to worry?
Drinking of course is never a solution. So perhaps we should take it as a metaphor and ask a question: what can I get for myself that can serve as a glass full of nectar? The answer is going to be different for each of us and different from one day to the next. Sometimes double chocolate ice cream works just as well for me. Or a particularly moving piece of music. A sunset or listening to the wind blow through the tops of tall pine trees or rustle the leaves on the silver birches.
Basics. Sometimes I think it comes back to me – that very personal ME. Existential questions – who am I and what am I doing? Not making things any easier. But it makes me realize I have more work to do in accepting what I am at the moment – just this side of wheezing (aftermath of COVID) old fart. Could be worse. There are times, like after a colonoscopy when passing wind is necessary – oops oversharing – but it’s the scotch.
So basics. We come back to ourselves and maybe we should go way back to when we were babies, newborn babies. Hopefully healthy and happy. Cooing to ourselves, delighted when we discover we have toes and fingers we can poke into our noses. Babies are mostly happy in their bodies – a good lesson. We can sit quietly, breathe, and rediscover ourselves – literally breath by breath and body part by body part. Bottom line, we’re all we got – big guts and squinty eyes – I like to think all of that gives us “personality.” Screw it, home improvement can wait another day. So what if COVID kept me out of the gym. I’m up and breathing now – that’s pretty basic. And I’m glad for those breaths when I’m not coughing. What about you? Can you take a moment and come in contact with your breath – feel it going in and out. Damned if that isn’t pleasurable.
You want smiles. My old beagle is splayed on an old futon behind me as I type. Whizzing breath going in and out, creaking like an old house in a hurricane. Pretty funny – except that she wakes me at 4 AM to go pee. Pretty shitty since I’m usually up to 2 AM writing. But heck…4 in the AM, alone with the dog on the front lawn, eerie sounds and smells at that hour that I would never experience otherwise. So, if you need something different, I’ll lend you my beagle. Nah, you can set your alarm, you don’t need me or my dog.
So basics. You have your breath and you have your body. It’s what you have… basic building blocks loaded with your own particular potential – not trivial. You’re here, that’s what counts and as you open up to yourself you’ll be able to open up to others and that smile and those acts of kindness will flow naturally. Each of us, starting in our center, will take those little steps – giant steps really – that make us human and make the world a better place.
Pretty basic if you ask me.
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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