Monday, October 22, 2012

The Black Curl of a Cat, and Talking to One's Self While Driving

I'm sitting at my old oak dining room table, with my black cat asleep to my right, in a little comfortable black curl, and it's quiet except for rain dripping from the eaves, and it's dark out, and cold in the house. I wear long underwear, and about 8 layers, and my nose is cold, it's a cost saving measure. I haven't turned the heat on yet. Tomorrow for sure, the cat will appreciate it.

I was driving tonight and having a long conversation, with myself, out loud, trying to make sense of things. And I thought- and maybe this isn't too deep but I will share it anyway- how it really isn't about the past, which I dwell on a lot, because one forgets the past, which I notice way more than I ever did before, being 52, and can't recall enough to feel what I once did, to make it matter and its not about the future, which I tend to worry about and it wakes me up, because... well, I cant remember why, but its the obvious, not here yet, etc, nothing to be done about, not predictable, but mostly, its about niether because one feels neither the past or future, neither feeling is on one's skin, right smack on it, and so both lacks reality its dead on right now that matters.

Duh. We all know it.  But for me, despite Buddhist monasteries and hours of trying to sit and follow precepts, its an insight. Received while driving (a form of sitting)- actually, talking out loud. Sometimes I do math problems that way, just to see if I can manage carrying a number from one minute to the next without dropping it, housed just in memory. I can't. It flits away. Its the same concept. I get to hold one number in my head at at time. There is one now at a time, and really, nothing else at all.

I don't mean its what matters in a general way, I mean in a profound way. Not a second ahead, or a second behind.

That's about as profound as I can get, without hiding it in a poem or a painting. I should say, housing it, not hiding it. It gets housed in a painting or a poem. Big difference.

It must be why Jesus spoke in parables, and poets in stanzas, they were more interesting than the bare ass facts. I suppose that this is because Truth and Beauty don't boil down to anything too complicated, but the way we can talk about them is way more interesting. And staying interested matters a lot.  You can count truth on one hand, beauty on two (seems more complicated than truth), but you can tell both in about 75 different ways.

This relates: I'm sure anyone who has animals has thought about their lives-and how its sort of always about Now, and I see this in my cat, who sleeps, now, and then, gets up and stretches, and its on to the next thing. Which unfolds, I would guess, without plan or worry. There's plenty of curiosity, and then there's curling up. And I look at the cat and think- well, why can't i do life more like that?  Its not even my cat. Its a neighbor's cat. I feed it, and I get the benefit of cat insight. He has two bulldogs. I suppose he has different insights.