Q is for… Finding Quietude

I’m having a bit of a tricky time of it at the moment. We’ve theoretically moving house soon (but we don’t know when or where – ask anyone with Asperger’s and they’ll tell you that change is the worst thing in the world, followed closely by uncertainty, and we don’t know where we’re going and we already have people looking around THIS house and they’re going to take my garden away from me and WAAAH). And there are a number of other reasons for my disquietude at the moment, covering the whole range from floating esoteric things to cat vomit. (There’s nothing more earthy and grounding than cat vomit. It should be everyone’s post-ritual cleanup activity.) This morning I’ve ended up sitting in a corner for about an hour, cuddling Merlin and saying “fluffy… fluffy… so fluffy” over and over again. That’s a good sign, right?

So this is a very quick post, since my brain clearly isn’t working at the moment, about finding quietude when the norm is chaos. And the answer is… sometimes I just can’t. I question whether any of the very spiritual guru types out there really can, to be honest. When the world goes slightly crazy around you, and your brain doesn’t handle life well at the best of times, I’d challenge any of those deeply spiritual I can relate everything to my own enlightenment types to pull a lesson out of it. (Can you tell I’ve been reading a book by one of these? And that it makes me want to join the cat in that vomiting thing? OK then.) I’m much more keen on those writers and bloggers and sharers-of-thoughts who talk about the chaos in really honest terms — visibly losing the plot occasionally over injustices, regularly pointing out that the world is fucked up and that our own minds can make it even worse, and that there is nothing good about this. Not trying to say that everything will be better in a mythical afterlife. Not trying to pretend that ‘the learning’ makes it all worthwhile. Not trying to deny that many people just live very difficult and chaotic lives, due to all kinds of difficult circumstances – from poverty to unemployment, from illness and pain to brain structure/chemistry, and from thoughtless family members to the outright godawful selfishness and viciousness of some human beings. I have friends, acquaintances and even just people whose blogs I follow, whose lives contain all of these things and more. I can’t hear and read about these things and still believe that meditation can make it all better. Life is deeply, intensely chaotic. Pretending that we can be ‘enlightened’ and rise above it completely just doesn’t ring true for me.

My UPG of one of my goddesses is that she stands between chaos and cosmos, in that powerful, liminal space where the earth gives birth to mountains and the seas rise and swallow the land. There’s ADF theology that says that without chaos, there cannot be cosmos or creation at all. Life involves cycles, change, and highly chaotic destruction. I can’t move back home to the place I’m happiest without at least some stress. And it’s nothing compared to what some people have to go through in life, and I am deeply lucky and privileged.

And being aware of all that does not mean that I’m not sitting in a corner gibbering. But at least the cat hasn’t vomited in the last hour.

I’m going to sit in a cafe with tea and tarot cards now. Be seeing ya.

10 thoughts on “Q is for… Finding Quietude

  1. Excellent blog Leithin. May you embrace the Chaos and find the stillness at the centre. Hope Cat is much better too xx

  2. I think meditation can provide a temporary release, like alchohol… but once the meditation’s done or the drink’s worn off the problem (if you want to call it that remains). Sometimes chaos, physical or mental, just has to be lived through.

  3. Lorna: I don’t deny that meditation is very powerful stuff. I meditate regularly, and it does me the world of good. But you still have to live through the chaos when you open your eyes. It’s good to learn to deal with it a bit better, though, and meditation does help me with that. To some extent :D

  4. briseilid: Thanks! The cat has an ongoing condition, possibly involving his liver, but he’ll be fine – we just need to keep trying to find him a type of food that he doesn’t respond badly. (He’s just back from the vet and has a shaved belly and looks funny. Hee.)

  5. Sometimes the only lesson is ‘let’s really try and not do that again’. I recently moved house too. It throws out all rhythms and life patterns, changes relationships with spaces and people, I think there’s much to be said for focusing on survival and staying sane, sometimes. Best of luck!

  6. Love this, and identify completely! I try to project a serene, in-control persona into my blog (when I have time to blog at all…) but behind the scenes I’ve done plenty of sitting and rocking and gibbering over the last few months.

    I often find that when I get into a particular frame of mind, or maybe it’s a neurological state because who knows what’s going on between my ears, I can NOT meditate. Or sleep, for that matter. It just doesn’t happen and I usually feel even more tied up in mental knots afterwards for having tried.

    Good luck with the move, and hugs for the poor vomitty kitty.

  7. I’ve tried to make friends with Murphy and Finagle’s Laws (the first one says “if anything can go wrong, it will”, the second one adds “at the worst possible moment”) for a long time, because chaos does regularly invite itself at home… It is true that the world around us always finds a way to remind us that we can’t control everything (not even sure we can control ANYthing, in fact). All we can do is to grab a piece of wood and try and keep our head out of the water (and, if possible, accept the fact that chaos is the strongest… easier said than done, though).
    Hope Mister Cat gets better soon (and I agree, there’s nothing more grounding than cat vomit… well, I know a few other things, having 2 dogs as well as a cat, but I’ll spare everyone the details XD), and I hope you find quietude soon too (don’t worry, the cardboard boxes never win ;) )

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