Saturday, August 20, 2005
Mental Hygiene Day!
If only it were so easy to clean out the mind. I mean, the cruft and detritus that builds up over a week, hosed off, and the self put away clean like so many dishes out of the dishwasher. The dust of a thousand almost finished work and personal projects vacuumed up and dropped in the bin. Bits of thoughts half finished swept up and up in the disposal - flick the switch and they're gone.
Those that study the mind say that sleep does some of this, allowing the brain time to make connections and file stuff away. I used to meditate for an hour a day and get some of this done. Later in life I would go to an empty auditorium, or the practice space and play piano or guitar and let the mind float, and create one thing while filing another. With the onset of responsibility and family, not so much. I know it's possible to build this into a day, as others build in exercise and therapy, but it has never seemed natural to me. I guess, really, all of society is unnatural in that aspect - you work when you have to , eat when you have to, sleep when you have to, and try to fit in the meditation or the things that make your life go round on the side. How fucked up is that ? I mean, there are those that have a perfect fit and get paid to do what they love, but I'm not sure I'm one of them. Operations is cool, and maybe if I were to work for Goddard or the National Radio Astronomy Observatory or the NSA or something, that might be cooler still. But I don't think that's it. And I used to pine away about being more involved in the music industry, but I don't have a lot of respect for it these days. I have a lot of respect for musicians, and for those who really care for their craft, but the people that run the industry seem to mostly be of a poor cut. That doesn't mean I wont keep after it though. My neighbor, who's deeply involved in it, he's having a great time. He's got some drama as well, but I think that's par for the course.
Maybe whatever you do, you have some friction, and little bits get rubbed off, and you have to have time to heal and recuperate and get you shit together. Unless you're like a Zen master, or a saint or a lama, maybe you just need that downtime to get yourself back together. I guess what I'm saying is that putting the hours in and getting the work done with sufficient concentration sustained for hours on end, bringing the intensity up and down at the sound of a call phone or an email - you chop off bits of thoughts and feelings, and sooner or later you have to go back and put the things you put aside away or finish them.
I'd like to think that I finish more than I flush. Lately I've been flushing a lot of things. Some that might be too big, or too important to flush. But I have lost momentum, and to regain it, one must be fleet of foot, quick and silent. The mind neat and orderly, poised. The work part of my mind is fine for this, it's the play part that's dusty - work has become or assumed, or subsumed play, and is trying to throw out all the other bits. But it's not as much fun. I'm missing something in the dark corners of my mind, and I think it's high time for a fall cleaning. I'm going to go find it.