Through the Glass Backwards: Practice When the Sh*t Hits the Fan

Join me for my weekly practice, Through the Glass Backwards. The title of this series came from my former commute into work, when I took the light rail downtown. Even though I tend to get motion sick easily, I usually ended up facing backwards, watching as  the city slipped by. Now that I work from home, these vignettes will be a 200 word glimpse of things I see and I am fortunate enough to see, but not necessarily from the light rail window.

messy desktop

Last minute paper writing is never pretty

I’ve not been sleeping well. Up too late, too early. Today, I’m awake by four. I boot up my computer while looking for my journal while the water is boiling for coffee. The table is covered with bananas, lemons, papers, pens, and headphones, scattered on the table I work at.

This is a well-worn scene. It’s the end of the semester and I’m trying to cram. Papers, exams, life.

Sadly, practice is the second thing (after exercise) that is dropped… I make a decent stand-in for Alice’s White Rabbit. The internal cries of No time! careen through my brain. (Again) I haven’t been practicing regularly. I’m calling myself some pretty nasty things.

Pause. Recognize this. Notice the anxiety welling up, like water from cracks in the earth. Anxiety becomes my high alert system, a siren going off in the dead of night.

Come back to now.  Notice the hum of the refrigerator. The coolness of water on my throat. Notice how my chest feels heavy, as though I have no room to breathe.

This is practice. This is practice when everything falls apart. The one question: How can I allow a moment to notice?

I can always go from there.

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