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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eat me, Hermione

I left my camera.

I was across campus, taking measurements for a proposed Japanese garden. Once done, I started back for my office when I realized I left my camera on one of the tables, so I sprinted back for it.

I rounded a corner, ran around some students dressed in robes and carrying wands. Assumed they were going to Drama class. One of the girls shouted, "Run, Forrest. Run."

I didn't bother responding. I was staring at the empty spot where my camera had been only ten minutes ago. I could feel the money leaving my wallet. Meanwhile, Harry Potter and friends were laughing. I caught up to one of the maintenance crew, asked him about the camera. He found it, just gave it to Lost and Found.

I hadn't forgotten about the friendly wizards. My mind kept replaying the scene, trying out different responses. The portion of my brain that still resides in 5th grade was helping. Here's what I got.

Response #1: [Turn around quickly.] "What the hell'd you just say?"

Response #2: [Awkward laugh. Smile.]

Response #3: "Eat me, Hermione. Shut up."

I tried to drop it. Such a non-event. But then I found myself still going back to it. 5:00 AM, I was laying in bed, about to get up. There I was again, rounding the corner. Run, Forrest. This time I turn.

Response #4: [Warm smile.] "How'd you know my name was Forrest?"

Boom. Nailed it. Yeah, I'll go with that. Next time that happens, I'll say that.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sitting: The Black Hole

I sit in meditation and watch my mind desperately trying to protect me. I watch how thoughts solidify. How scenarios form and pull me inside like the undeniable force of a black hole. I watch myself give in to the thoughts that create every possible scenario that might harm me, how I might avoid criticism, how I revel in the things I may or may not do.

Thoughts. I cling to them like a junkie.

And then I wonder who my thoughts are protecting. I ask the unspeakable, the unanswerable: Who am I?

And then return to the present moment. The sound of birds outside my bedroom window. The tickle in my nose. I stay present in a seamless moment of awareness. The thoughtless, eternal now. Until the thoughts return. And I go with them. Again. Like I have a million times.

And I return a million more.

Sitting is thus.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Looking for Redlights

Pi is a slightly disturbing Darren Aronofsky movie.

Maximillian becomes obsessed with finding the number that will solve the mysteries of life. "Mathematics is the language of nature."

He confers with his mentor, Sol. He tells him he's close to finding the answer, but he's become obsessed. Sol tells him, "When your mind becomes obsessed with anything, you will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere."

I've got a 30 minute commute home. I don't notice the green lights as much as I do the red ones. There's a belief that I'm entitled to green lights. I should get green lights, so when I get one I don't notice. But a red light? Three in a row? Five? It's like a man in the sky is singling me out.

The victim.

You will filter everything else out and find that thing everywhere.

Look for red lights, and you'll find them.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Running the Bridge

    I hate running.

    I do it once a week. Hate every second of it. I follow a blog where a guy runs 50K races. He's mad.

    When my wife decided to do the bridge run this year, I passed. Maybe next year I'll change my mind. Just looks too damn cool to pass up again.

    When I say I'll do it, I mean walk.

    Heather and Douglas (her walk buddy) woke up at 4:00 am to get to the race.
    Heather in line for the Porta Potty. The stench was unbearable.

    40,000 people in this race. By the time Heather got to the starting line, the Kenyans had already finished the race.

    Charleston's famous cable-stay bridge.

    Downtown Chucktown.