failing the test
Bemused, I watched my mind struggle to keep on track first thing this morning. Even the cold-splash of water over my torso had had little effect, so occluded was my state of awareness. As usual, half damp from my ablutions, wrapped in a towel, I descended to the kitchen to make a pot of tea, only to discover that everything was in the wrong place. The previous evening as I’d cleaned the kitchen after supper, I’d decided upon a more efficient arrangement of the crucial items, but with my wife absent, nobody reminded me of this and baffled, I stumbled about seeking the kettle, the tea caddy, the teapot.
Research has shown that to relocate items you normally go for first thing, such as the flannel, the soap or your clothes, startles the brain, forcing it into a more intelligent state. As I say, nobody had told my addled attention this so I failed miserably. The kettle, eventually found, boiled as I tried to work out where the teapot was and so on. Scalding my fingers when grasping the awkwardly placed kettle simply added to the confusion, but I managed to pour it into the pot, only to discover that I’d not put in the tea. Tuning the radio to a soft classical station helped, a tiny, tiny bit. I tried again, did things right, but as I closed the tea caddy, I spilt tea leaves everywhere.
Eventually everything was done as should be and the tea cosy brightened the kitchen corner I had selected the previous evening. Twenty minutes later, I was again tested. Having static-cycled, washed and dressed, I returned to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and was met by chaos and noise which challenged my addled brain. My wife was making a vegan, gluten-free cake and trying to follow a new recipe, she was stressed. Things were everywhere as she whizzed the mix in a large bowl, gently cursing it for not fluffing up. My brain struggled to locate the breakfast ingredients I sought, even a place to work at and I seemed to get in the way with my every move, as did she and like drunken dancers we stumbled about the normally adequate space, messing up each other’s endeavours, but somehow managing not to get annoyed, stressed as we each were by the madness and noise, not being helped by a rocky radio station on at full-blast.
In all this, my bewilderment created a sea of mental confusion as it grappled with being attached to a troublesome body. And then I woke up for the first time that morning! Automatism fled. I laughed at myself, at us both pirouetting in order not to upset the other or the other’s task. How emotionally intelligent we were! How lucky to be in such a caring relationship. Ho I love my wife. And suddenly, I felt human, the zombie had fled, an alert, quiet, natural intelligence pervaded. Hmm. Now that’s the best ‘meditation’I’ve had in a while….