It feels like I am struggling today. Suffering. I have lots of ideas for what to write, but am finding no joy in the writing. I’ve got a couple of blogs half-begun, and yet cannot seem to make myself finish them. Part of it is that most of my ideas lead to long, deep analyses “with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was,” and right now I don’t trust long, deep analyses. I’m tired of my monkey-mind and its constant need to figure out and explain and know and demonstrate. Today that just all feels like control and domination, like the serving of some vague egoic need I can’t even surface long enough to understand. There’s an all-alone, listen-to-me, I’ve-got-to-explain-myself quality in my body today that I do not like and do not want. I want to find my heart and just say something from that. I want to be in touch with something else besides my mind. Perhaps it’s because Sally is away this week. Perhaps I am less grounded with her gone.
The most difficult thing for me here is to simply accept that this is how it is and let it be okay. I promised myself that I would write a blog every week. You know… the kind of blog a “pure research man” would write, full of insights and notions that chip away at the great puzzles of our time. I’m a guy who does what he says he’s gonna do, know what I mean? But this is how it is. And so I will let it be okay. Some days, I guess, when a “pure research man” goes to the lab, nothing much fascinates him. He can’t even seem to get the bunsen burner lit, and he eventually goes home and takes a nap, or reads a book, or walks along the ocean. Finding no words and ideas that really fascinate me today, I’m going to head back home and “pick up my guitar and play.” Music has fascinated me of late. And I’m beginning to find ways to share music face to face with real human beings. And I have found, when I do so, that I get a huge grin on my face, and a feeling of excitement in my body just as strong as the terror of vulnerability that’s there whenever I step into that level of self-expression. It’s still pure research, when I think about it. It’s just not in the realm of words and ideas. It’s in the realm of ears and eyes and guts and hearts, the realm of tapping feet and vibrating vocal cords, the realm of the “soft animal of my body,” as Mary Oliver would say, the realm of my beautiful but wounded soul sitting knee to knee with another beautiful but wounded soul and somehow, as if by magic, creating something joyous in this big ol’ goofy world.
So I will quit the struggle and relieve myself from suffering. My lofty ideas about science and spirit and hope and doom and love and life and death and redemption shall have to wait for another day. The Universe says shut the fuck up and sing me a song. So I shall. Who am I to say no to the Universe?
PS: That’s my Great Aunt Marj playing the fiddle in the photo. She was one of the people who loved me and cared for me as a young child. Aunt Marj… this one’s for you.