Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fear Of Silence


Many things are conspiring this past week to make it nearly unbearable.

I am particularly sensitive to the world, and sometimes it's too much. It's easy to scoff at this and say I am being too sensitive, or that I am overly dramatic, or I should just ignore it, and I try. If you tend to let things slide off your back, you will never understand, and you will always think me a bit weak for not only feeling this way but for also admitting to feeling this way.

But sometimes, between the dark and the tragedy and the daily stuff of life, it is very difficult for me to hold up well. I feel in my cells.

This morning there is new video of the aftermath of Eric Garner's death. Police officers milling about, not particularly urgently, and Garner very obviously not breathing. No one administering comfort or aid. Eric Garner is a neutralized sack of meat on the sidewalk. Devastating.

Usually I will respond by hibernating a little or going on a media blackout. This weekend I am going to try something different. I am going to try to go out into the grey world. I am going to breathe.

Tricycle has published an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's next book talking about the fear of silence. The reasons why we won't stop and turn off the noise, either physical noise or media noise. There is a brief guided meditation focused on uniting mind and body and moving into the silence.

I catch myself breathing in short, sharp, shallow breaths these days. Even on the mat it is hard to breathe deeply. I feel like I am holding tragedy in every cell of my body these days, internalizing it and keeping it in. If I am being honest (which I always try to be), I will say that I don't know if I believe that simply by breathing I will make anything better. Maybe I will be less tense, but in yoga breath is supposed to contribute to some sort of magical release into the universe, and I am just not there. Call me the Cynical Yogi.

But goddamn. I am willing to try just about anything. I found The Child sobbing in the shower last night, and I can't fall to pieces right now. I can't hibernate.

So today, and tomorrow, I will breathe.



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