Friday, September 26, 2014
Writing was a way of keeping calm, to spell things out for myself, so that I could understand them. It was a way of buying time, to react without freezing up when something reminds you of the traumas of childhood, the feeling of helplessness, the urge to defend, the fight or flight response trigger.
I would be tired at the end of the week, after the show was over. I'd rest. I had to still a disproportionate sense of anxiety and stress. I found a primary need for calm, the need to come down from the disproportionate adrenal reaction. I turned to music, exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing. With a tendency toward people pleasing, I found it easier to stay in, to not fit in with any happy hour crowd. It was enough stress getting down to the wine shop and the grocery store. I didn't feel up for dealing with many people, such was my job. Maybe this was my attraction to Buddhism. Knowing all this now with the help of therapy I sought the natural ways to keep the anxiety away, and this helped me not take the easy route of the wine bottle before it was time.
Everything held stress and anxiety for me, not that this wasn't a challenge I enjoyed facing. A definite sense of humor came about.
In a dream I'm up in the old country of Central New York State, traveling through the far flung towns we'd not pass through often. I'm on a bicycle, and having made it to somewhere, now I need to get back by a certain time. It's a long ride, and the weather is threatening. An all around sort of family guy, part driver, part farmer, jack of all trades insists of giving me a ride part of the way, along with his family in a van. Their home is on the way. It starts to pour. We make and I take refuge inside as a dark storm comes up. There are many tornados out where we can see, and their funnels gather electromagnetic lights, as if pulling stars down with them, and these points of light make an effect of looking like people running as the tornados swirl forward quickly across the landscape, so that there seem to be many people out there running quickly about but largely from left to right, odd, as if you were to see your father running. The storm passes and I can politely get back on my bike, which was my purpose and intent, to get a nice ride in, exercise, a test of the legs, to go through unfamiliar landscapes. The way I am going, following again the helpful man, is challenging, through a country club at one point with many steep hills. We pass a town that looks like Europe the way it's laid out, cobble stones, curbs, trees, curves, hills. Small eatery where one had an ice-cream come or a hamburger distantly remembered.
I needed the calm of the bicycle and the long ride, and the weather did not bother me.
Did Kerouac find calm, real calm, in the jazzman's horn on a crazy Saturday night? Did he find it in the cheap jug port wine? He wrote about Buddhism often enough, seeing a need for real organic calm....