Tuesday, December 22, 2015

In the Moment

As I mentioned in a FB post, strange things happening in my skull, so I thought I might elaborate on that here. A few days ago I went for a walk in morning, trying to buck myself up, get the blood pumping. I just felt tired for the first few miles, but then perked up. I don’t know if I made a conscious effort or if it just came, but I started to feel very mindful of my surroundings. Why? I think it is because of the meditation and because I'm killing the tendency of my mind to get in negative thinking cycles.

So what is this mindfulness? For me it is living in the moment; actually seeing the stuff around me and engaging with it and not having it as just a backdrop to the shit going on inside my skull, not just registering it as ‘seen it before’ and not really seeing it. I feel more alive when this happens – almost like a child discovering the world for the first time. I guess this is the thing about the adult brain. It has seen and done so much it has fewer new experiences to process and just continues through life like an automaton. Before I started reading all this recent meditation/mindfulness stuff I always contended that the reason time seems to pass so fast when you are older is that you do so much in a day you’ve done before that your brain fails to record or clock this. This was also the basis for the ennui of immortals at about 200-years-old in my books.   

A result of the mindfulness was that creativity started to kick in and in a way that surprised me. Actually looking at my surroundings I started writing about them in my head. In fact I started to put together some verse (well, I'm no expert, so probably doggerel). Surprising? Well, yes, since this is something I haven't done in about 30 years.

Hawes clinging, the colour of old blood,
Ice melting, in puddles of mud.

Twigs etched black upon the grey,
Sloes shriveled, briars drip wet,
Spring is it coming? Trees whisper:
Not yet.

Yeah, don’t tell me – it has been 30 years. I might play around with that at a later date, though better I stick to SF. But the point here is that I entered a mental state I had not seen in a long time.

Later, effortlessly, I slid into thinking about my present book and the next section to write. I like this because this is precisely what my mind should be doing while I walk. It should not be catastrophising. It should not be hypervigilant for shit stains. It should not concentrate on the negative and fail to see the positive. It should not be constantly miserable!

Anyway, meditation eh? Mental reprogramming seems to work. You can change what you do in your head – you can make it healthier. I mean fuck, I should know this! I’m the one who always talks about how you can exercise your mind just like you exercise your body, that imagination is just a mental muscle!

As I noted in my FB post. Don't worry. States of bliss and all that nonsense aren't really becoming evident in my fiction. I finished writing what I was thinking about on that walk. It left two human heads on the floor and one guy being eaten alive by a prador.

Peace and Love.



corvus said...

Lovely poem. Yourself writ small but intense. Glad things are going well.

Scotter said...

Wow that makes sense and is a cause I had not considered!

NebulaBooks said...

I also find mindfulness very useful for helping me - often when I'm driving or walking I find myself writing in my head. I dabble with science fiction short stories, but for years my writing has suffered drastically with my depression. I enjoyed that little bit of prose :)

Byte said...

I wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing your journey on here and on FB. It's helped me a lot. Also, love the books. The Polity is the only fictional universe I've actually ever wanted to live in.