Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Retreat!! Retreat!!

Playing on the iPod: "While We Sleep" by Jeffrey Koepper
Meters swum today: 1800 (bonus!)

Sorry for lack of blogitude lately, but between Joan's knee surgery (and she's recovering nicely, thank you, though she's still limping around and making bad cane jokes) and the Olympics (faster! higher! farther! bring on the dancing electric drummers!) it's been a little hectic around here. Oh, and I discovered just how serious my Thing With Food really is. The whole time they were prepping Joan for pre-op I kept wishing they'd hurry up so I could go back to the waiting room and snarf down my peanut butter sandwich. That, plus job stress that's not getting any better, plus Michael Phelps and Dara Torres (did I mention Dara Torres?) and I'm about climbing the walls. Luckily for me, it's almost time once again for the Awakening Heart Sangha's quarterly Day of Mindfulness Retreat.

What is a retreat, you ask. Well, I'll tell you. A retreat is where you go sit in a room with a bunch of total strangers, do very little of anything and stare at the floor. Okay, there's some walking around that goes on, and some "mindful eating" toward midday (that's my favorite part -- see, there's the thing with food again.) And we do some journal writing and stuff and, well, anyway, it's a quiet and peaceful kind of day. I've heard some folks do this all weekend or even for an entire week, without a single news break to announce the Olympic medal counts. And, like going to the gym, I always have a great time once I get there. It's just going that's difficult. If you haven't been showing up for the regular service, and, uh, I kind of haven't, you feel vaguely guilty showing up for the special events. Kind of like being a Christmas and Easter Christian, I suppose.

Anyway, the second I mentioned that there was a retreat coming up Joan said, "YES. GO. I INSIST." Or other words to the effect that I might possibly be driving her nuts. Again, job stress, etc. Plus, last night I had a bad nightmare. I pretty much finished my bad nightmare phase in college and if I get one now, it's because there's Something. In. My. Life. That. Needs. Attention. This was a verybad nightmare. Just briefly it was like something from one of those "Saw" movies (I hate those movies, though I was rather taken with "Hostel," which was suspenseful, clever and honestly scary, I have to admit). People were being buried alive and I could hear them pounding and yelling, "I'm not dead! Let me out!" but I was more concerned with getting away from these freaky people whose idea of a good time was to hurt other people.

Okay, I get the symbolism: Something's getting buried and I'd rather run away than deal with it. Yes, but WHAT IS GETTING BURIED?! Really, my subconscious could trouble itself to be more specific. Couple nights ago I had a dream that this guy was showing me the various ways one could shave a cat. Yes, the symbolism was apparent there, too: "There's more than one way to skin a cat." But, again, MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO WHAT?!! And, again, nothing specific. How irritating.

You can tell it's time to go on a retreat when I start TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Yeah. Like that.

Go Michael go! Go Michael go!

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