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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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David J Kelly

Sitting meditation

Try to engage the mind. Leave the body in neutral. Not thinking about thinking itself, but considering the flow of thoughts. Immersing oneself in their stream. Considering each thought as a leaf carried on the surface of that stream … I wonder what sort of leaf? Something large and distinctive, like a maple or a lime? Or something much less dramatic, like a birch or a larch? Larch, now there’s a weird thing, a deciduous conifer. A tree with an apparently self-destructive adaptation that persists.

thought experiment
the assorted debris
of consciousness

This is harder than I thought. My head is far from empty. It’s a difficult concept, ‘nothing’. Then again, ‘something’ is almost as tricky. When you get right down to molecular, atomic and subatomic levels, the nothing between the something becomes ever more apparent. Along the lines of a universe in miniature. Like gaps between galaxies. Wow! There’s an analogy to work with. My watercourse could be reimagined as a strip of universe with galaxies drifting along it.

milky way
an orbiting space station
drifts out of view

I think my foot’s going to sleep. Perhaps my posture’s wrong. Not enough blood getting through. That’s bad. If a tourniquet is on for too long, it can kill the isolated tissues. Then comes gangrene, amputation and prostheses. That’s too high a price for a clear head. I’ll try and shift my weight slightly. Let the blood back in. Just a subtle adjustment. No-one will notice. All I need to do is lean a little bit away from the upright in this direction ...

battle weary
from the citadel’s ruins
stream of profanity