Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Trick of the Thing

A car alarm is outside my bedroom window, beyond the courtyard couched in one of the parking lots of the housing project where I live. If it were along the street, the other buildings in the neighborhood would absorb some of the sound. There are trees, as well, that mercifully block the random noises of the city. And the sounds of other cars on any one of a number of busy roads in the area act as a massive white noise machine.

But as I said, it isn't along the street, it's obliquely across the courtyard and two parking lots away, and is not in sight. As I wait for the owner to turn the off the alarm, or for the thief to get away, I shall practice Zen Buddhism. The blare seems uncut by the other building, or by distance, and is shooting into my brain.

I am a leaf upon the wind.

To be honest, it doesn't seem to be working. I'm one for the fast-acting Enlightenment, so I've taken 4mg of lorazepam and 20mg of propranolol. The latter is a heart medication, used to treat angina, and in my case, anxiety.

That will make it easier for me to be a leaf upon the wind.

Ah, and the car alarm is silenced. It pleases me to think that the owner of that car will someday die, just like the rest of us. It's an empathetic thought, and humanizing, so my anger subsides and the gentle, predictable drone of the city is arcing over my flat like a rainbow. Muscles are so tense during these anxiety attacks, but if I focus a bit I can free each limb. A pleasing exercise.

The smell of fresh cut grass and fried chicken is wafting through my window now, although there hasn't been a lawnmower out today. It must be a neighbor's cooking that I smell, and the grass that was cut yesterday morning. It appears to be a fine day outside, weather-wise. The garden is small, but well-tended and should be fruitful. I prefer the word "fruitful" over "productive." That's just the way it is.

Watch someone else soar. I'm not one for the soaring. Avert your eyes.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I liked this blog entry, Darren. And, I'm glad you mentioned our "Victory Garden!" It's going to be spectacular!