Cold rain this morning. Cherry buds dead on the tree branches, daffodil heads hung low by last week’s snow. Sidewalks were slippery en route to practice. I spread toes to shuffle my boots, and shuffled the music.
Randomizing gave me Major Lazer – Hold the Line. That song was heavy rotation in the month of March, for my one-woman 4:15am dance party upstairs in the ladies’ at the KPJAYI. I blared it every morning that last wrung-out week of the season, when (after years without coffee before practice) I also got a moka pot and a bag of questionable espresso.
Hold the Line is the same song here as there: the subtle body trills from the triple-diamond diaphragm at the root of the pelvis, crashing in to the second diaphargm that separates hydraulic from pneumatic systems in the center-thorax, trilling lightly past the third and fourth diaphragms, and finally setting a bliss wheel spinning right around the atlas bone freed on its axis. Similar to how it feels to be a moka pot, I suppose.
The song goes Imakeya imakeyaimakeya — yeah — Imakeya jeansvibratelikea nokiaaaa. Raw emotion revving. The emotion is an immanent, ecstatic yes to EXISTING—a yes that bubbles over as more specific feelings: delight to practice, gratitude for con-spiracy, love of all particulars. The feelings come in even stronger now, in dreary Ann Arbor, than in the root experience the song recalls.
Especially because the root experience—the dark Mysore mornings of March—is laced in horror.
The emotion of yes-to-existence feels like a buried river in me. From it, other yeses come in waves, surging on whatever serotonin or dopamine is aspin in my spine on any given day, due to asana-pranayama-dharana-dhyana.
I can see the little yes waves sort of clearly because they differ from the rebellion, resentment and anxiety waves that dominated my sense of self a decade ago.
This is one of the small freedoms that practice has created over time. There are a few more choices around how to experience experience. About what to take as a self. About places I can relax into receptivity rather than wasting energy pushing the world away. I like this yes skillset, and so am disturbed to feel the rebirth of a no. A sizeable no.
Like, no to Existence. I mean screw off, Existence. You and your tree buds, yeast rising, puppies everywhere I go. A lot of cavalier manifesting, is what you’re up to. But you know, unlike the action of your nemesis Nothingness, sometimes it’s just tacky to go out and exist. Existence, Nothingness could quaff you without even moving; or it could send in its raptor fleet and annihilate all your work in blooming dust clouds; whichever it prefers. But, Existence, you are a one-trick metaphysic. Always doing this something-from-nothing game. Even when that sucks for the somethings you bring in to the world. How about some Manifestation Planning for once? You’re never going to beat Nothingness, ever ever ever, but you sometimes try so hard that I doubt your sincerity. I mean really: cherry blossoms before a snow? Kittens who won’t live a week? Nothingness is following you with an eraser, so closely you can’t even write down a whole sentence. You can make life, sure. But when you get sloppy all you make is suffering.
These are the thoughts. It feels like my central theory that existence is wonderful is getting pulped by a dialectical force.
So… stuff me in bad Advaita and call Krishnamurthi (not the nice one, but U.G., who saw humans as machines and called his enlightenment the catastrophe). It’s a real question. Why exist when you can be nothingness?
I’m not talking as the black-haired girl who gazed darkly out her dorm window between pages of John-Paul Sartre. Like most people who take bachelors degrees in philosophy and deconstruct too much too soon, I lived those years like a novel. Nineteen got a title, even: Embracing the Void. It took a lot of Portland hipster affectations (especially Hegel and cigarettes) to get the idea of nothingness into my system as more than a concept. But the experience of nothingness seems to have required another fifteen years and kittens. And a succubus; possibly two.
If this is a dialectical undoing, may as well hang out in the space between (A) Existence and (A’) the Nothingness that’s now demanding representation. Between the two is a kind of black hole—a swirling dark column that goes from the bottom of everything to up above the light.
It’s really weird inside this black hole. A half-nothing place filled with whatever won’t die but also won’t live, all floating around like Willy Wonka and the blueberry girl. Sometimes it reels out a crop of frost-bitten cherry blossoms, or a pack of hungry ghosts. It plays boomerang with doomed kittens. I don’t know if the possessed butterflies come from that place or not.
More of this presently.