Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Shut Up

King takes a moment to meditate.

On a recent day off I did some single-handed sailing aboard Valhalla.
I usually have some music going on a boom box but this particular day I turned it off.
In fact I was briefly able to turn everything off.
The whole inner monologue got silent for a moment and I felt a deep happiness well up in me out there amongst the smog tarnished sky and the sea birds.
One hand on the tiller, the other writing in a little notebook and partly inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem Keeping Quiet, I composed this little letter to myself.

Just Shut Up
An open letter to my own mind.

Dear Me,
Why all the chatter?
Just shut up.

You fill all the spaces where the breeze of simple contentment could flow with your gibbering static.
Just shut up.

I’m talking to you, Me. Just shut up.

Your mind’s insistence to discuss everything you see, feel, smell and hear,
Your squawk box of priorities,
Your opinions,
Your notions and endlessly mutating theories,
The familiar list of regrets you like to shuffle through,
Your plan to do this or that or the other thing,
The utterly random grooves you carve,
Your ad nauseum musings,
Your zombie mantras of
“What should I?”
“Why didn’t I?”
“When will I?”
“Did I?”
Just shut up.

All that thinking.
And all that thinking about thinking.
Just shut up.

Your brain is a minefield.
With tripwires of self-reflection.
With buried but ticking mortars of decisions made/unmade/regretted.
Let it go fallow once and a while.

Just shut up.

When you do,
When your mind’s mouth stops it’s yapping,
When the gibbering monologist with the microphone in your head runs dry,
When the talkie of you walkie takes a breather,
That’s when you can hear it...

The giddy swirl.
The custom embrace of the world, snug and right around you.
That wordless knowing that you are exactly where you are.


And then the newscast starts again.
The diuretic commentary resumes.
And the happiness dives under,
Waiting for the next stillness to show its bright flipper in the sunlight.


Luke said...

Hi Rob,

This is a hilarious and profound piece of writing. As I was reading it, I felt as though I was talking to my own mind.

It's difficult, but if I stop believing in what my mind tells me, it no longer poses a problem — it's just background noise.

I think you might like this photo:

Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's the ocean. I've had that breathtaking surge of joy looking out at silver waves under streaming silver clouds, just joy over being. How wonderful to exist in that place. Eckhart Tolle says that he lived liked that for two years.....