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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Robert Root

Some Mornings

Some mornings, after waking, I lie in bed, eyes closed, on my back, stretched out as if in savasana, covers to my chin, and try to think what I will do this day. I try not to think of chores, like making the bed and emptying the dishwasher and making coffee as I do each morning, like doing laundry as I do each Sunday or putting out the trash and the recycling as I do each Friday. I try not to remember what writing packets I need to critique or what webpages I need to check for online postings, what emails I should reply to or what meetings I should attend. I try to focus on what I will do that will satisfy me that I am doing something I need to do for myself. Those mornings I get no further than this, avoiding what I don’t want to think about and clearing my mind for what I do want to think about, preparing space for what I most need to think about.

And nothing happens. That space is empty. Nothing comes to mind, nothing comes into my mind, nothing emerges from my mind.

On those mornings it doesn’t take so long to arrive at empty space. I think: I will lie here and think of what I must do, and when nothing appears I think again: I will lie here and think of what I must do, and when still nothing appears I think the same thought again, again and again, until I give up and rise and make the bed and dress and, being sure to have turned on the computer in my study before I go downstairs, make my coffee and empty the dishwasher, and bring my coffee upstairs, type in my password, delete the spam on my email account, check the weather, check my list of things to do, and begin to think about which thing I tried not to think about that I should do first. Some mornings it takes a while to decide.

Sometimes I sense something else I must do for myself but can’t determine what it must be. Sometimes I forget to wonder until I wake the next morning and lie in bed, eyes closed, on my back, as if in savasana, and try to think what I will do this day.

Summer Solstice morning –
shadow puppet birds
flash across the blinds