We live in shallow and complex times.
Worried about e-mails, about texts, Twitter, Facebook.
Often interacting more with people even that we know in shallow ways. Always feeling like we need to check into our media and devices. A society full of advertising of buy, buy, buy of you need this, you need that.
You don’t. No really, you don’t.
You really don’t need a smartphone although it is very shiny. You don’t need an iPad, again very shiny. You don’t need those new clothes, you don’t need to see every movie, you probably don’t need more stuff.
You need to connect. To people, to the earth, to yourself.
I am dedicating 2014 to be the Year of Grounding for me. I need it.
The last two years have been very ungrounding. Losing my father in law Walter Maheux in March 2012, losing my beloved father Henry Edmunds Davis on April 1, 2013. I am still grieving. I still do not have all of my psychic and spiritual energy and might not for some time. I am trying to ground again and get back into myself. I need it.
I find writing helpful. I love conversations especially one on one although they can be hard to do. Why did it become weird to call someone? Seriously. I love to connect with people. In 2012 I started having lunches with one person and just talking. It was cool. It’s good to spend an hour with just one person and not be in the cacophony of noise and information of the internet and smartphones. I want to get back to it again and having lunch with someone tomorrow.
I am really happy to be in therapy. I had an unbelivably tough year that included a major manic episode in April, 2013. It was one heck of a month. Although I did write some good poems and posts including a memorial for my dad. I also ended up in jail for 36-48 hours of Patriot’s Day last year while fully manic and became extraordinarily manic. Basically doing a 24 hour performance in a cell to the NSA who I was sure was watching. Then was held down and drugged after getting loud at the Maine Medical Center ER and forgot 24 hours completely. April was unbelievably ungrounding. Losing the rock of my life, as I said in a poem at my dad’s memorial service. Losing my sanity.
Recovering slowly. Spring Harbor helped. Lithium helped a lot, dulling my mind when I needed it, found it dulling after my crisis as well and slowly going off of it. My wife helped, my mom helped, my therapist really helped. I am very thankful for therapy. More of us need to be in it. Seeing her tomorrow and happy to go over goals and talk about the last 3 weeks that includes that big holiday of Christmas and all the energy you put in an use for it.
I feel the need to ground. To slow myself down. In the words that Fred Rogers used from the documentary “Mister Rogers and Me ***” Make your life deep and simple not shallow and complex.
Take a walk. Look up. See the stars. See the clouds. Feel the wind. Hear the water. Rest your mind. Listen. Breathe. Breathe. Slow down. Touch the Earth if you need do, do some Earthing. Literally ground yourself.
Make it a practice. Meditate. Prayer with your heart. Bring the worries of the brain down to the heart. Practice the mediations I learn from Whispering Deer. Your heart can take a lot in, the brain wants to analyze everything. Breathe. Breathe.
One thing I do to ground that make me feel joy is walking with my headphones at work. There is great landscaping there. Statues, trees, birds, a creek, a marsh. Listening to something like Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind” yesterday, watching the trees in the twilight in a sea of clouds. Transported. Just looking. Appreciating.
Your technology can wait. Texts can wait. You can turn your cellphone off. Sometimes it’s good to not be available. People do not need you all the time. You can not answer a text. You can leave your phone in your pocket while driving. Pay attention.
Right now, I am looking out my window. Seeing rain on the panes. Seeing a gray sky with some blue just after sunset with plenty of dark gray clouds after a rainy, and warm day that reached the upper 40s and had plenty of snowmelt. Can see some red of the sunset in the distance. Lights over the parking lot for the Dancing Elephant and the Frog and Turtle. Light in the parking lot by me. A wet American flag. Trees in fornt of the sunset. A wide Presumpsoct River that is harder to notice through the raindrops. The Disability RMS sign hiding through the trees. A car driving through. Listening, looking.
Billy Collins said all a poet needs is a window, paper and a pencil. Simple. Beautiful. Calming. Noticing. Not overthinking. Which we all do too mcuh. Looking up seeing the day change, watching the birds. Seeing the scampering of creatures. Hoping the insects don’t bite.
Think when you were happiest. Was it a tweet? A Facebook message?
Was it time with a friend, with a loved one, a lover and partner? With family? Eating, drinking. Maybe on vacation in the woods, in the desert? Listening, content at peace. Breathe.
We all need more peace. Less worry.
A life deep and simple where you appreciate things. My cats Lenny and Squiggy. My wife Lanna. The simple sound of the cat fountain. The silence. Sleep, dreams. My family. My sister Mindy, brother in law, Robert. Brother in law Bill, mother in law Dottie. And the ones who have passed, my dad Henry, father in law Walter. Grandparents Avis Neal, Charles Neal, Mary Davis and Donald Davis. My Aunt Louise. My mother’s best friend Dottie Mithee, Cousin Benny.
And heroes who have passed and enriched my life like Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Carl Sandburg, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Miles Davis. And of course teachers past, present and futures. Those who listen. Those who let us listen.
The water. The sky. The birds. The animals. Our pets. Cats, dogs. The mice we can’t see. The bees who pollenate. The pollen that makes us sneeze.
Breathe. Ground. Let life be easy. Let life be quiet. Read. Turn the screen off. Just listen to music. Drift. Dream.
Work to live a deep and simple life in complex and shallow times. Love one another. Hug. Kiss. Be thankful. Breathe. Mediate. Be Present. Appreciate the silence. Learn to love the noise and watch. See the sky change and darken, as the blue almost disappears and the red of sunset is almost gone.
Rest. Breathe. Ground and be Peaceful.