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.


The Struggle for Survival

In honor of the countless documentaries I consume on mother nature, I look upon today as a fight for survival.  It is the selection for fitness that occurs in these blustery winters.  I have the will not to perish.  But the desire to go away for a bit.  To fade into shadows and stray far from disease-harboring crowds.  What makes the task impossible is the need to attend classes and the necessity for jobs and wages.  Humans in this climate have not yet taken on the hibernation period our fellow mammals endorse.  I sit back and watch when I can have the luxury of indoors the events that unfold in the lives of others.  People are fairly sick.  Newborns have many problems this time of year.  Haven’t we learned to foal in the spring yet???  No?  Well, of course not.  the scourge of the planet cannot afford a season off.  So our offspring get sick.  we crowd into small, warm spaces.  Dust collects.  Life is a struggle.  


It makes me sick to speak of it even in blog form.  I’m restless.  My head is straining from the constant exposure to cold winds and my skin breaks upon itself into sores to bleed.  It is much too dry.  It is much too unforgiving.  The stress wracks my muscles and bones.  Every day of beauty snapped up by conditions worse than tolerable.  I want to die a million times over on days like this.  Because survival is so meaningless at times.  Yes, I still question my role.  I know well what nature intends for me.  But I fear what man intends.  I fear what I intend, when my wishes are to disappear.  More sleep would do.  More comfort would do.  Less people would be even better.  But we are all busy with survival.  Which means driving on slippery streets and also cramming into tight warm places where germ ridden breaths are shared by all.  It means dying to survive.  To all survive.  


I know I’m being cynical.  I do indulge on many occasions.  I could never hurt a fly.  but I see what is unfolding.  And I contemplate what it means to accommodate more with less.  I suppose it is good to know…..the struggle befalls many.  And many will fall who cannot cope.  I am coping.  But for the purpose of keeping quiet and keeping pulse.  When the thaw comes I can only hope…..