Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Body Music

I feel music inside me. I want to record this music. I want you, the reader, to listen to the music that my body makes.  It is not that I want to hear the music, I already do. I want to have some way to share it. I want us to accept that the music we make as human beings brings order and chaos to the universe. I want you to listen, to listen to your own music.

For me to talk about music seems strange since I rarely listen to music. I do not own a stereo, iPod or any means to play music--apart from my computers, and I never listen to music on my computers. But I feel music all around me. More importantly for me, I hear music not just as an emotion, but as a formal structured language.  I know how music elicits emotion. This is different. This music that my body generates is formal, it is a language. Although I have a limited repertoire of musical scores that my body makes, I am now learning to appreciate it and listening for it. I have started late to listening to my body, my older age seems to help. I am learning to understand it.

In quiet moments I listen to my body. Not auditory, no waiting to hear sounds, but listening to how it functions. It takes some time for the body to start humming first. When I run--or, as is more likely the case recently--when I hike, it takes a good 15 minutes before it stops creaking and complaining and gets on with its function. And then it hums. Everything is in harmony. The body starts humming and then slowly at first and with much crescendo later, there is a modulation, a pattern that emerges. I am listening not feeling. The pattern is musical. The closest I can get to in reality is a Vivaldi concerto. Not as complex but the same residual structure.

Sometimes I do nothing. I feel my body resisting. My maturity is knowing when I am just lazy (it does happen) and when my body just needs a break.  I can hear my body humming.

Recently I can feel my body slowing down. This might seem to anyone as a negative, but for the first time it allowed me to distinguish this music. In the past, my body music was on all the time, at full blast. Now I have moments of slow tempo from which I can distinguish the emerging crescendo. I did not hear the difference before. Now that my body is slowing I can hear the modulations, the changing pitch and the emerging patterns. I know what it likes. When I hike and when I drive, socializing or eating, my body tells me how off center I am.  Socializing creates the most dissonance, and I like socializing. What I have found unexpected is that my body hums while eating. When I make a nice meal I can hear the slow adagio. I have come to appreciate some foods my body likes and some foods I like. But I am still resisting diet change.

It does not feel good anymore to eat red meat, or meat in general. I love the taste of meat, but my body does not like it anymore. It feels good when I eat grain and legumes. I sometimes wonder what will happen if I completely listen to my body. How will I function?

I read a story about centenarians and it reminded me of what my body wants to do. People in these six areas of the world, where there are large concentrations of people over 100 years old, take time to slow down and distinguish their time with periods of inactivity. Sometimes they wake up late in the morning, they are irreverent with time and cannot be held to a schedule. That is what my body wants. It wants to move at its own pace. It has all these notes and it wants to rearrange them in time, its own time not my scheduled time. Whenever I change that course that my body wants to take, I can feel the unrelenting stress and dissonance in my music . My body can do much more, but when it is not ready it creates unnerving harmony. I know all this because sometimes I get it just right. And then I feel like I am a well practiced orchestra.  I have began to trust my body more and more. I know I can push it, but I prefer to let it tell me what it can do and when.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

God's Waiting Room

"Just Do It"

Nike's logo was coined in from the final words of Gary Mark Gilmore  in 1977. Gilmore was sentences to death after being convicted of two murders he committed in Utah. Five local police officers, stood concealed behind a curtain with five small holes, through which they aimed their rifles. When asked for any last words, Gilmore simply replied, "Let's do it!"

Sometimes the barbs on a tree tells you that the fruit is sweet.

Thursday evening, seeing that I survived another week teaching a full load of 140 students, I honored myself with a pat on the back. Lets do something...one of my students earlier that week suggested a trip to Painted Ladder. I nice five mile hike, or so I thought.  Just do it.

Waking up at pre-dawn, I got in my car and just drove off. I drove for three and a half hours to get to Mecca. No, this one is in California. An absolute center of the universe for dates (the edible sort) and, to my amazement, grapes. I drove through some amazing countryside, knowing full well that this land was once owned by the Agua Caliente native people. Beautiful land, stolen and paid for with termination.

During the Second World, in 1943, the United States Senate conducted a survey of Indian conditions and surprising to everyone but the federal government,  found horrific cases of deprivation. So, as a  solution,  the federal government determined that tribes needed to be part of main stream American society. Seeing how well Blacks were doing under Jin Crow at the time, this was a surprising solution.

Two tribes, the Klamaths who owned valuable timber property in Oregon and the Agua Caliente, who owned the land around Palm Springs were the first to be enriched by American society. These lands, abundant in resources, were taken over by the Federal Government. Later adopted in 1953, this policy of “termination” declared that the goal was “as rapidly as possible to make Indians within the territorial limits of the United States subject to the same laws and entitled to the same privileges and responsibilities as are applicable to other citizens of the United States”(House Concurrent Resolution 108 and Public Law 280).

In 1952, the USA elected as its President, the former Supreme Allied Commander of World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower.  The Republican showed no real signs of interest in the race issue. From 1953-1964 109 tribes were terminated and turned over to state governments. Approximately 2,500,000 acres of trust land was removed from protected status and 12,000 Native Americans lost tribal affiliation. The lands were sold to non-Indians and the tribes lost official recognition by the U.S. government. The land I was travelling on was part of this steal. Now beautifully manicured as only American stolen land can be.

Surrounding Palm Spring, Palm Desert and Coachella is desert, but the valley itself is a cornucopia of life.  Driving through it made me forget how long I have been driving. Leaving San Diego at the crack of dawn to be here, now mid-morning, bright and beautiful.

I was warned that I might get stuck driving up to the hike. But driving at 60 miles per hour on a dirt road I knew I can get through any sandy patches. Not true. A patch that lasted for over 100 meters brought my speed down to zero. Stuck. Rev rev and the car drives itself into the sand. Not good. I have been here before.

When my children were young we used to go rock hounding...searching for semi-precious rocks. An excuse, but it worked in getting everyone on the same page. We drove to some exotic places. A place I remember vividly is the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge‎ in Douglas, Arizona, to the east of Las Cruces in New Mexico. The only live beings you see are havalinas and border patrol agents. Sometimes both are indistinguishable in the terrain.  Sniffing.

We drove there in a rented Subaru 4WD and we got stuck. Two kids, in the middle of nowhere. I had enough supplies for a month. But the idea of being immobilized is powerful. Although I managed to dig out of that one (I had enough tools to rebuild a car), it always frightened me how quickly I can quickly become powerless. Fast forward ten years. I am stuck in a desert in a mercedes saloon, with nothing but a credit card and a phone without reception.
I go out, replace my flip flops (how Californian)  with my walking boots and go and have a pee.  Look at the car. Wait. I have been here before.

A car drives up. I am thinking that they have a four wheel drive and can help me out.

Wrong again. They get stuck maybe a hundred yards away from me. I walk up to them, make introductions. I help push them out and then they reciprocate and help push me out onto the edge where pebbles on the side of the road allow for better traction.

They were two couple in their late 60s. Knowing that I might get stuck again leaving, I invited myself to accompany them on their hike. Two sisters from Seattle married and moved to Palm Springs because of the weather. Their husbands, also both from Seattle. We shared pleasantries and then, turning around, one of the sisters,  Linda, defined Palm Springs as  "God's waiting room." And that made me think. What a beautiful way that Americans die.

I walked around with these two couple for two and a half hours. Talking, but mostly in our quiet world. Then when we got back to our cars, my technique was to rev up and race out of the sand, which worked this time. Topping 80 miles an hour on dirt sandy roads got me out of the dirt road with a fast heart beat.

But the idea that I am driving in "God's waiting room" never left me despite the speed I was driving at. As I drove, seemingly reckless, knowing full well I am protected from any mistakes by an onboard traction control, I am reminded of my solitude. I see my face smiling, even--shall I confess--smirking. I just got out of being buried in the sand, after a three and a half hour drive, then a two and half hour hike and now I am free. Mobile, powerful.

Later that evening at home I make a quick meal. A concoction of sautéed onions and caramelized asparagus with goats chess and sliced chicken thighs in curry sauce. And I savor the meal alone. Knowing full well that I will never get this in any restaurant  While driving at 80 miles an hour on a dirt road with full traction control I know that I can never do this with anyone else. Loneliness brings some advantages to just "Doing It."

Remembering driving with the sun blasting on my dashboard, illuminating the inside of the windscreen with my reflection staring back at me on the dials of my dashboard. Watchful. I am fully aware of the significance of this moment.

John Guthrie McCallum, editor, lawyer, politician, was just shy of 60 when he came to this stolen place he renamed Palm Valley. I am just 52 but feel old enough to bear the weight of its history and its beauty. Not because of what it is but because I am here enjoying the delights of being alive.

I am planning on getting a 4WD again to explore further. "Doing It" involves getting there and back safely. Although I am not sure "back safely" is ever possible in "God's Waiting Room."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Birds of a feather fly together

Memory is a fickle tool. I use tricks to help me remember and to develop a nuanced understanding of events or people. One such tool that I employ is writing eulogies. Not real eulogies, those where I have to stand up in front of family, friends and acquaintances and talk about the deceased life. Trying to encapsulate what their life meant to you.  No, eulogies are make believe ones because the person is still alive. I am not a sombre person.

These are personal eulogies that I write about people while they are alive to help me understand them. These stored mental edifices, living mausoleums,  help me to appreciate people with whom I am close with.  The word  mausoleum is perhaps not accurate. Mausoleums are static. The word comes from King Mausolus who ruled over Caria in Asia Minor--what is now a part of Turkey--who after his death, had such an edifice built by his wife Queen Artemisia. The pyramids of Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India are other examples of ancient mausolea. But in my mind these phrases of eulogies that I build up slowly are bricks that help me  form mausoleums in honor of my friends. They  are more than these wonders of the world. They are living, evolving edifices of living friends  that I honor. And they are mostly funny.

Because my friends are not perfect, I try and understand them with a grain of salt. Some of whom I just cannot fathom their motivation or interest in specific activities. One such mental mausoleum starts..." He succeeded. He killed himself.  He is now dead. Congratulations. He has been trying to find ways of killing himself since he started bull riding..." and you can see how it evolves from there. "She always got what she wanted, except that she never quite knew what she wanted..."; "At last she will sleep soundly tonight"; "I wish I am here to give her eulogy but I am not which means only one thing, I died before her..."; phrases--sound bites--that pop up while I am doing something else. Then I store these phrases like a singular brick, to be used to build upon earlier, existing phrases. A brick at a time to build a mausoleum.

I try and understand my friends by using language. A recent development, because now words have a reciprocal meaning. For me, language was a way to translate what I think, but now words help me  find accurate representation of what I see, beyond my perception. Having a working definition, such as a eulogy, helps me to refine and more accurately capture the true nuances in a person.

Not an accurate tool, but a tool I can use to dissect and by returning to the subject I find that a specific word or phrase best separates what I want to see from who they are. Language helps me incrementally record a more detailed and accurate representation of who that person is.

This goes on for all my friends. Sometimes, it is a short eulogy. Sometimes it is a longer one. But when these swirling narratives become quiet, I start to  think "who is writing mine?"

I have noticed that there are particular characteristics that I start with in my eulogies. To me this initial definition is the true essence of that person. Who do I see when I think of them. I find this vision direct, and I am sure others similarly find it easy to conjure a vision or attitude of that person. And for me all my friends share a commonality. We are all covered in the same pattern. Some in great swaths of cloth others a small patches of this pattern. And this pattern is a strong sense of thanatos.

Not the thanatos of Greek mythology, nor that of Freud even though he never called it as such. It is not a death drive which motivate people to engage in risky and self-destructive acts likely to lead to their death. More the thanatos that compels you to jump off an existence of normality into the unknown.

My eulogies are grounded in exploring the question of what it is about people that have this wish to jump off. To leave behind what is expected of them. Jumping into the unknown. These are the friends I write eulogies for. And although I do not know who is writing my eulogy, I know that I am flying with birds of the same feather. I might be writing my own eulogy through them.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My body symphony

I had a bad report from my physician. Rather, it came from my blood test results delivered to my email, showing that my thyroid was mis-behaving. Hypothyroidism. I did what we all do...constantly google the word to control the fear to submission.

Spent a week researching all the options. Everything about why the thyroid stops working, prognosis, medication, side effects. I even called my parents because there is a genetic link, only to find that my mum suffers from an imbalance too. Then I framed the multiple discussions I was going to have next week with my much younger GP. I go through all the scenarios with him in  my head. But at the back of my mind was the idea that there is a problem with my symphony.

My belief is my worst enemy. Let me explain.

Lets start at the beginning. One of the books that I recommend to my students is Sherwin B. Nuland "The Way We Die." In it he has a beautiful description of death..."The very old do not succumb to disease-they implode their way into eternity. " Describing to my students about how specific cells are engineered to die--which Leonard Hayflick discovered and has subsequently been termed as cell senescence or cell death--and how this affects each organ of the body separately. Some organs we have backups for (kidneys for example), while others are peripheral organs that do not affect our lives (hair senescence.) But, I explain to them, that if you imagine that your body is an orchestra and you have one of the players playing the wrong song, or worse still, not playing at all, it creates dissonance. What happens when it is more than one orchestra player, and other players start to abandon the stage? When do you stop having an orchestra? This is death, when the conductor storms off the stage. But how do you define the last stages of death? When the flutists are all alone in the front of the stage?

My thyroid was off the stage. I furtively looked at all the other orchestra players. I went through my blood test with the persistence of a mathematician. Any blood result that veered away from the middle of the normality range I held up as suspect. Is that player ready to run off stage too? Can I continue playing without the trombone, without the percussion? And where the hell is the clarinetist going?

Though my life is more of a jazz and choral music, my body is regimented in its consistency. I still wear my first adult suit that my parents bought for me for my graduation thirty five years ago. 

I started to appreciate how personal ill health is. It is about me, my music my orchestra and they are not playing it correctly. 

Then came the meeting with my GP. Which went something like this: "No no no, it is the other way round, you misread the result and it is not such a bad indication. Means that you are healthy. All other blood indices have improved. Continue what you are doing."

But I can look back and see how desperate I became so that I could continue with my orchestra. To continue playing the same music that I equated with my life. 

Hiking down Cowles mountain early in the morning, feeling unstressed and in my quiet place, I started thinking about the music that I play. I define my life by the music I create. I make my orchestra play a specific type of music that makes me feel good about myself, that makes me feel vigorous, healthy. Can I still play without the trombone, without the percussion? And what if the clarinetist goes off somewhere unexpectedly? Can I still play music, and should I start changing from an orchestra to an ensemble and perhaps prepare for a quartet?

I like the sound of a quartet. It is minimalist. What instrument would I select and what music can I still play that makes me feel useful, alive and vigorous? I need to explore that. I have a task ahead of me.  I am going to prepare for my quartet and if you know me, I will be calling on your help,  more than I have in the past. Right now I am going to play Vivaldi and enjoy the return of my prodigal thyroid.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dreaming still

I never used to remember my dreams. I know that we dream three or four times a night, but I could never recall them But something strange happened to me when I was away last year. After a turbulent five years, I took the opportunity to go on a sabbatical to Australia for six month. I allowed myself to get away from the daily madness we call routine. And that is when things started going strange. One of which was dreaming.

I found myself waking up startled. 2:22 on the clock. I had a nightmare...agian. My heart raced me to consciousness. I woke up with a start. Shit.

I have also been remembering my dreams. Nightmares and dreams. I could never remember my dreams before, and rarely have I ever had nightmares. So much so, that now,  I am puzzled.  I do not know if my experiences are real experiences, or dreams. Since I did not remember my dreams before, I had no reference for how to deal with them. Before, anything that I "experienced" I believe to have happened in my conscious life.  My real life. I had such a clean distinction before. I had a sharp demarcation between conscious experience that I remember, and unconscious dreams which remained hidden.

My nightmares are happening with such consistency now that I have to remind myself, that when I am awake and conscious, that I am not dreaming. My dreaming has infringed upon my waking consciousness.

And this has continued after my return home. Back home after six months of travel, I am changed. My dreams seem to equate with empathy. I experience events that other people have told me about but which I have never experienced. Some are pleasant (flying unaided) other dreams are not quite so (being abused.)

In the past when I was told that they feel lost and out of control, I, who have never ever felt ungrounded, could only acknowledge the facts. I knew intuitively that the experience they were relating was bad, but bad in my way.  And despite my empathy, my "bad" is different from your bad. And it is not just in terms of degrees of bad, but in terms of the repercussions. The ripple effect of bad.  Having half my leg torn off by a dog, requiring 17 stitches, is bad, but there are simple repercussions--I (was) afraid of dogs.  Being beaten senseless by your husband/ wife/ boyfriend/ girlfriend leaves indelible marks that cannot be cured by getting a puppy. My dreams taught me that.

I now dream about how it is to experience events from another perspective. It is not all sublime. Some of my dreams involve mundane things like driving a truck. Yes, mundane, but do you know how invincible you feel driving a truck especially when you have never actually been in one yourself? Other experiences are not so easy to accept. Being physically abused was difficult and traumatic. Dreaming of being the abuser while at the same time feeling the consequences of those actions was unique. As the abused, knowing that you are not in control, leaves you utterly de-humanized. Like a rag thrown away, splattered against the rocks. Knowing that the abuser is also impervious to you, the abused. It is not about you. The selfish and egoistic desire to lash out has nothing to do with the recipient. I learnt that in my dreams. I always thought that if  am hit that I will retaliate to save "me." But it is not about me about ego. It is about the abuser and their issues, their psychosis. A lot of sleepless nights where I wake up startled.

It also gets funny. I woke up to my tinnitus, ringing in my ear. That was funny since I woke up answering an imaginary phone. I laughed so hard I had to run to the toilet.

I never used to remember my dreams. Now I am not sure whether they are dreams or just a reconstituting of my reality. Trying to make sense of the people around me so that I can empathize with them and undersand my world as it is rather than how I wish it.

Predictable Life

I have a pattern in my mind of how my life ought to be. This pattern is simple, uncluttered and linear. It goes something like this: I will grow up healthy, go to university, excel, fall in love, marry, have healthy beautiful kids, make an impact in my field, grow old and loved. I know I should have included "died", but remember that this is "ought to be", there are no deaths in ought to be.

You might have a similar pattern bouncing in your head. I wish I did not, but it is there. Even knowing that it is only a pattern--unreal and unattainable--it remains indelible. It eludes destruction. It has the ability to shine through my darkest moments. When all I can see is an all engulfing blackness of my utter incompetence--when my lights are at their dimmest,  fueled unrelentingly by what I have not been able to accomplish--my pattern shines at its brightest.

I try and ignore it, diminish and hide this internal light. Indelible, running like a stain in my otherwise imperfect rhapsody of colorful experiences.

Every aspect of life mirrors us, mirrors me. So there are aspects I do not like and which I try and grow out of me. Wash out the stain to leave the clear and predictable pattern. These themes conflict with what I want my path to be. They are impediments. Imperfections. And despite conscious attempts to be in the present I face these themes as barriers, as deflections.

Having children have made me look at the perfect pattern in my head and how unreal it is. I am lucky. I have two healthy bright active children. I wanted girls. I wanted my life to revolve around a nurturing loving family, cooking together, enjoying nature, the environment, books, art, and all the finer expressions of what makes us human. You can taste the seductive nature of my perfect pattern. Simple expressions of love, care and nurturing.

But healthy kids do not conform to such perfect visions. Healthy kids think that they are immortal, all knowing gods of cool and righteousness.

I always joke that only a woman could have written Frankenstein. I assumed only women could appreciate giving birth to another soul. An independent being with a will of their own. But I am wrong. I also see it. I also see how out of control their development is. I see my peripheral role.

Like Frankenstein, my kids are not real monsters, they do not threaten anyone but themselves. And Mary Shelley had an insight into this, except that she did not admit that the Frankenstein she wanted to create was a better version of herself. As I wanted my kids to be.

There is a reason for the enticing pattern. I am driven to repeat a pattern that has been engrained into my genetic path. We all share this pattern. Frankenstein is the anomaly of what reality is like. Yet, aberrations--despite their ostensible dissonance--is the musical theme of my life.

Look at your life, what has been unplanned, and unforeseen, remain pivotal moments of change, transformations and self realization. It is the pattern that is hiding the real colors underneath. Colors that are not predictable, and orderly, but are reflecting a greater wonder than a simple pattern concocted by beliefs, prejudices and simplicity. The colors underneath represents life in all its swirling and undefined brilliance. I have a pattern in my mind of how my life ought to be and it is about time I stop honoring it and looking away from the obvious and to start seeing the eurythmics of colors playing underneath.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Growing home

At some point I had to stop trying to make Australia compare to other countries. I used to sit in my living room early mornings, and I was constantly aware that I was 7487 miles away from home. The large panoramic window acted as a focal point for my wondering. Thinking about home. Or where I think of when I refer to home. When that realization hit me, I became separate from everyone. I realized I was at the furthest point I could ever get without actually going into space. I felt separated, distanced and lonely.

That realization, and acceptance was important. That is when I started seeing how people live here. Whenever I lost a connection I saw the world differently. When I was  in Cape Tribulation and I survived my resignation that I was going to be mauled by some strange animal in the middle of a dark and foreboding night--that is when I started to appreciate my surroundings. I was no longer anxious or afraid. Back in Melbourne, the realization of the vast distance brought on that same relinquished pleasure. Shedding of my mortality, my loneliness, and in that state of bareness, I became sensitive to the moment.

I started talking to people about their day-to-day life in Melbourne and the suburbs of Sydney. I was intrigued by how consistently residents accept their situation. For them, I assumed, home is right here. Melbourne has experienced an incredible growth since the 1990s.  The 2011 Most Livable City report placed Melbourne in second place after Vancouver, Canada. After the Commonwealth Games held in 2006, Melbourne continued to grow, and because of this growth, becoming more of a large metropolis.

Melbourne is the fastest growing city in Australia--a bussling centre of activity. From the sleepy town in the eighties, it does not feel that you are at the end of the world but a busy metropolis, with a diverse and rich culture. But it is still peripheral. It is not where it is happening.You always feel like a side show and that you need to tell someone what is happening. To inform them, to make news of events. To shout your presence.

Sitting at my kitchen in San Diego I feel like pre-Galileo, where I am at the center, and everything revolves around me. Seriously, in my kitchen.

At some point you stop evaluating what you feel and just accept it. I no longer think of home as Malta. That belief, that identity,  grounded me through a lot of turbulence in my youth and anchored my dreams. But now it feels like an outpost in my historical past. My ever changing dynamics here in San Diego--an ephemeral existence--and yet this is home. Everything revolves around this moment and this place. I never feel that I am at the wrong place, or that I am being marginalized from any events. I am here. Home.

And for the first time I realize that it has very little to do with geography. I have stopped trying to be somewhere else. While the Maltese idolize England, and while the world is sold on the United States--and within this great north American continent--California shines truest. In San Diego I feel like there is nowhere else to run to. I grew home by quietening my mind. By knowing that the grass is not greener anywhere else. I stopped comparing countries and started to accept the geography and to look into deeper and murkier waters. The home that I carry inside me. Darker than Cape Tribulation, but appreciating that by relinquishing more I get to truly live--my few precious years that I have left--in the moment.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yoga full stops

Talking to a friend of mine in England, I was trying to explain to her what yoga is like for me, and I said it is like a full stop (period) in a sentence. And since both of us mark a lot of papers, that got us talking about having shorter sentences in life, as well as in prose. The first lesson of writing good prose is to have shorter sentences. It makes it easier to define a point. In life, it makes us more aware of the point too.  On reflection, this life of ours--a one way street that we write our legacy on--could do with more full stops.

The full stop is so important in languages that we see it everywhere. Only in Thai is there no symbol corresponding to the full stop, although a space is typically used to mark the end of a sentence. But even in Chinese and Japanese, a small circle is used as a full stop. While in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao the full stop is placed at center height instead of on the line. In Hindi, Sanskrit and some other Indian languages, a vertical line "।" is used to mark the end of a sentence. The full stop is important in order to convey meaning, to distinguish from one line of thinking from another. By this method, the previous sentence is used as a foundation for the next sentence. This building process allows for more complex thoughts to emerge in an incremental fashion. Building on from past foundation. Life similarly needs a method for being aware of the complexity without overloading our consciousness.

Full stops allows me to view events and to become conscious that they are past. Forgive/enshrine move on to the present. A sense of presence. Yoga, at its fundamental state, is a time where I just "am." I do not have to "be." Lives tend to become complex and convoluted. When there are multiple narratives and threads that resist being truncated, I have to consciously sever them. I have to be conscious that "Now I am."

Especially with children who  have a running thread of energy. With their constant narratives of their lives which I adopt as my own, it is difficult to sever these lines of consciousness. But it is necessary to reclaim your sanity, to reclaim a reference point. It is a welcome opportunity to close down a sentence in your life, and start a new one.  We cannot continue with the same sentence, with the same theme. We face a lot of complexity in our life and being able to put sections into the past is useful for our mental health. Like music, there needs to be a moment of respite. Otherwise the every spiraling crescendo will create an imbalance, a dissonance.

I will take time to gain that perspective. Whatever helps you delineate the past, providing a break--whether it is running, walking, painting, writing, whatever it is--be conscious of the process. For me, I plan on more full stops in my life.