If I’d have been writing a few years ago, this whole post would be based around the moment when the LTLP walked in through the front door and barked ‘what the hell are you doing?!?’ having fallen over me, lying with my eyes closed on the kitchen floor.
As it is, I’m writing here in 2016, and I know she hates being called that, so I won’t do it any more.
What sort of happened is that I bought her a book for Christmas, because she has a stressful job and stuff. You’d think living with me would counterbalance this – you can browse through the old archives to remind yourselves what a relaxing and idyllic home life I have made for her over the years – but having picked up on a few subtle signals, I leapt into action. Conveniently, this got me out of the whole pre-Christmas ‘oh God I have no idea what to get her for Christmas’ funk I was in at the time, so it was a winner all round.
Anyway, Christmas came and went, then January came and went, and it lay sad and unread on the bedside table. So I offered to read it for her, go through the exercises, and basically summarise the salient points, to save her time. She gave me a sort of assentive snort, which brings us back to the headline. So anyway, I started meditating.
I had to get over two major mental hurdles, once I started reading. Firstly, I am invariably compelled to reach for a tin of lighter fluid and set ablaze any book of the psychological variety that periodically uses the word ‘wisdom.’ And secondly, it is written by a serious scientist in conjunction with a journalist – which is a fairly common thing – but the joins are often quite delightful in their lack of guile. So you’ll get a sentence that probably – in the first draft – went something like:
‘Take a deep breath, until the air fills your lungs’
That has been rendered in the finished book as:
‘Take a deep breath, until the air fills your lungs like sweet water in a millpond on a tranquil summer’s day.’
I find this too comical to be irritating, and it’s fun as a writer (who sometimes gets his words mucked around with) to envisage the process behind it, and whether the co-authors ever ended up in a fight.
Anyway, apart from that, I’ve found the whole meditation stuff to be quite good, in that I’ve felt quite positive about things in general since I started, although whether this is a coincidence or not I can’t really say. It’s only the end of week three; I am determined to see through the full eight.