Attention to Detail

It’s quiet now, I think.  I’ve dimmed the lights and drawn my breath.

A creaking rodent wheel sings in the night.  The bubbling of fish tanks serves as tempo.  It’s a concert; a symphony, but it’s all white noise to me.

The mind, like the animal house, is never truly quiet.  It, too, is often just unintelligible jargon.  But when it’s coherent, it stings.  It is searing in its clarity and punishing notions, just as…after a while, the sound of the rodent wheel grows irritating.  Today is the passing of that while.  Today, my mind is restless with the irritations that have plagued it far too long.

I’m sad now.  I’m sad and angry and aware.  The attention, the analysis…the core functions of the thinking brain have betrayed me.  I’m so upset.  I’m growing more upset by the minute.

Why is this?

I’ve lingered over details. I’ve replayed every word.  I’ve used the best computing device I’ve got, but I’ve been unable to prevent the inevitable.  I know why this is.  I’ve thought far too much.  But then there I go, thinking….The feedback loop just pushes me deeper and deeper into distress.

I want to stop.  I think to stop and then those thoughts intensify.  STOP.  STOP. BREATHE. BREATHE.  STOP.  STOP BREATHE.  STOP BREATHING.

That thought trail is unsettling and I do ground myself.  Life is a weird thing.  When you’re estranged and alone and your thoughts isolate you and you can’t trust yourself….that is the hardest path in life to walk.  I’ve walked it all along and wondered what purpose it must serve.  Why do I over-analyze?  Why do I dwell and prove detriment to my own progress in life?  Why?  WHY. WHY. THINK. THINK. WHY. WHY THINK.  WHY ARE YOU THINKING.

I’ve this unappealing fixation on details.  I know this.  I thought I had this figured.  Yet, in the night it stalks me.  I personify it as the enemy.  And I as not it.

Foolish, I think.  This demon and I are the same.  I’m it.  There’s simply nothing else to blame.

What is significant in this moment is that I know quite intimately that my struggle with the demon isn’t over.  In the quiet, the mind narrates. The inner monologue is saying things constantly.  It’s grabbing at the reins and when it pulls me in it rides me to utter exhaustion.  It’s insanity.  It’s what I am vs. what I want to be.

I used to take pride in my attention to detail.  I could pick the tiniest spiral shell from a bed of clam husks on any beach day.  I’d squint and analyze and process and find my prize.  In adulthood, it has become my weakness.  My focus is shot and I’m finding not prizes but reasons to worry and stress and attack myself.  Ok, and sometimes prizes such as the single wiggling fish from a dish of detritus.  I can’t gut the redeeming from the trapping of a quality.  I take it all and I’ve really no choice.

 

The question becomes.  Can I find beauty in this?  Can I exploit the strengths and embrace the weakness?

Not with the strangers I dress up as my kin.

Oh mind.  What a predicament within.

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