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something’s shifted

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Now there’s a little miracle. Or a big one. That’s the thing with miracles, they defy constriction. Regular visitors to this blog are acquainted with the roller coaster nature of my existence: mood [s]wings, body aches, existential angst — the “whole catastrophe” mentioned in Zorba the Greek and the book by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Last night, following mindfulness training at Fernwood Zendo, I found my/self overflowing with joy. Ten of us had just spent two hours in sitting, walking, and standing meditation; I’d guided a body scan and we’d shared homework experiences of mindful eating. Once people left the house, I sat sipping tea with a friend: we reviewed each other’s day, held hands by candle light, and marvelled at simplicity.

During the night I dreamt an entirely new version of an old nightmare. Following a three-year cook’s apprenticeship in my early years, dreams have often been about abuse at the hands of an alcoholic apprentice master. Countless nightmares had me standing naked at the coal-fired stove or running after trains and elevators in helpless panic. Last night’s episode cast me as a culinary expert called in to help sort out a complicated kitchen mess. We spoke politely to each other, people listened to what I had to say, we laughed easily, and everyone went away happy … and I woke up with the ←same ←silly ←grin I’d gone to sleep with.

Old dog, new tricks. (And yes, my back still hurts.)

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9 responses »

  1. sounds like ‘new dog/ new tricks…wonderful to hear of your miracle
    be well, peter…

    Reply
  2. I love stories like this! The fruits of training!

    Reply
  3. I love those “mood wings.” they are fragile and gossamer like butterfly wings, often with an etheral and ephemeral beauty.

    Reply
  4. what a wonderful smile

    Reply
  5. you all know me well enough to realize the significance of this … a glimpse at daylight after eons in a dungeon. time will tell …

    Reply
  6. Yes, mood wings. I think you’ve coined a new expression.

    Reply
  7. This episode reminds me of Machado’s poem:

    Last night as I was sleeping,
    I dreamt—marvelous error!—
    that I had a beehive
    here inside my heart.
    And the golden bees
    were making white combs
    and sweet honey
    from my old failures.

    2nd stanza of “Last night as I was sleeping” by Antonio Machado (1875-1939) in Bly, R. (1983). (trans). Times alone: selected poems of Antonio Machado. Weslyan University Press, p. 43.

    Reply
  8. all the poetry of Machado is wonderful. it is worth learning Spanish for. Que maravillosa es toda la poesia de Machado! Vale la pena de aprender el espanol.

    Reply

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