I’m a mindful stalker.
I sit on the uncomfortable metal chair in my single bulb lit room carefully tearing out my articles by Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron. With my sweaty hands, I maniacally arrange the typewritten letters on meditation and pain body into a veritable shrine of awareness. I slink among the fringe of society sniffing at the blissfully unaware, the chronically stressed and the turbid furor of the masses.
But it is the fate of every deranged stalker to obsess without acquisition; to only glimpse the object of adoration.
I fall asleep during meditation.
I don’t just have a monkey brain; mine has been injected with some apocalyptic virus that makes it screech and foam at the mouth while it gnashes it’s gigantic canines.
I’m grateful; grateful I haven’t strangled my kids after they have been at each other’s throats for twelve hours straight.
I try to “move through” my emotions until I’m lying on the ground drowning in self pity and tears.
Instead of acquiring the peace brought through the teachings of Buddha, I am modeling his belly through a worsening love affair with comfort food.
Maybe one day.
Until then, this stalker must be content with glimpses of the NOW.
When they do appear, they present themselves with a crystalline beauty that takes my breath away.
Today I was giving a newborn her first bath (I’m a NICU nurse). When I first began, she was wailing and screaming, her soft soapy skin red and slick. But as I wrapped her in a blanket and gathered her in my arms to wash her hair, she stopped and looked up at me with a huge set of black button eyes and curled her sweet lips into a beatific smile and I just stopped. I stopped and stared at the sheer magnificence of this tiny new life snuggling down into my arms and I smiled back.
When my children are away from me, it’s the glimpses that come rushing back.
The feel of my daughters silky hair as it slides through my fingers.
The weight of my sons lithe body as he drapes himself over me like a puppy.
The sweet timbre of their voices drifting into the darkness as they rush to tell me “just one more thing” before bed.
In the exhaustion of motherhood, I plait those golden strands efficiently and with purpose. I peer over those long limbs to make sure that he is truly reading and as I listen to those last earnest thoughts, I shush their next effort with the worry of their need for rest.
Now that they are not here, the admonishment comes swift and severe.
Why didn’t you appreciate your glimpses more? Why?
Because I’m a bad student. I’m a stalker. I’m only allowed glimpses.
Maybe one day.
Maybe one day I will pull the string on my single bulb, open the door of my basement room and come blinking out into the brilliance of enlightment.
Then they won’t be just glimpses anymore….