Tuesday, November 3, 2009


A nasty week.

Started off wonderfully, got a big chunk of music written; I got half way through a new anthem for handbells, organ, and mezzo soprano. Came to a good stopping point, decided to take a break to go out to lunch with my wife, she was driving, she had to swerve a little--just a little!--to avoid something, and I was so startled that I "shorted out," developed some really, really nasty acupuncture blocks that only got cleared this morning.

I've been in this state for a while. "Easily startled" doesn't even begin to describe it. A slight noise, a bump on the road, accidentally dropping something (even if it doesn't break)--they're all just like a body shot with a two-by-four. My doctor/neurologist/acupuncturist tells me this is quite normal; "no insulation," he reminds me. He says that one way to get out of this state is just to take a break and recover, but to remember that such "resets" take time--you can't just "push the reset button" and everything's fine.

Well, that is of course a great idea, but a lot of people are counting on me right now for a bunch of unrelated things (creative things, things that I actually enjoy doing), so this isn't a good time to take a break from life to recover. But even if I could... the basic problem, and this is something that I keep coming up against, is that I don't really know what recharges me. I know I've felt better after doing iyengar yoga, I know I've felt better after doing kyudo, but I've been in a nasty energy state where I haven't had the gumption to do the things that make me feel better. And that state is where I spend an awful lot of time; I've been living there for years, even before the diagnosis--and if there's ever a time to discover the way out of that particular death spiral, it's now.

Reserves. I don't have them... not really. I don't have them because I don't know how to rebuild them. Winter is the season of the Water element, the gifts of the Water element are to wash things clean and to rebuild inner resources. This is precisely the season to rebuild resources.

The Science of Mind Church teaches that we already know the answer to our problems; our challenge is not to "find" the answer, but to see what's already in front of us. And as much as I believe that's true...

... I have no idea what to do. But seeking "what to do" is, undoubtedly, part of my problem.

Kyudo teaches us that "doing" isn't always the right answer. Sometimes the right answer is to get out of the way... which is also what Science of Mind teaches, they say we need to get our "bloated nothingness" out of the way. And if there's one thing we learn from Science of Mind and kyudo and MS, it's that the right answer is found through contention and againstness, it's found by integration, by listening, by releasing, by being open to newness.

It's hardly a "passive" road, but it's not about "doing." So, I guess, the first thing I need to release... is "doing" something about rebuilding my resources.

... Reading this, you can't see the long silence that followed typing that last sentence, but the I-just-got-the-koan "my brain just exploded" feeling I got after coming across that last idea, suggests that it's probably precisely the road not to take (that's "doing") but to follow.

Well then... time to follow the road.

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