Monday, July 11, 2011
To begin again
Getting a fresh start - is there such a thing? Some Buddhists think we have a brand new chance to begin again, moment to moment. I've read that some people believe there is no past, no future, just now. It's a romantic idea that seems only to be true for amnesiacs. Memory is history, after all.
I'm not arguing with the Buddhists, by the way. I really love the idea that we can make choices about what to do or not do, moment to moment. We can realize all our power to live, move and be when conscious of what is ongoing right now, and right now, and right now. That's why I meditate every morning, to practice being present. But the past DOES exist; we bring it with us. Our memories are part of the beautiful complexity of the world. Who was it who said that thing about how, if we don't remember, we are bound to repeat our mistakes?
OK. True, that - but still sometimes I wish for a fresh start, clean and clear of all historical baggage. Wouldn't that be something? I yearn, at times, to be able to re-start my mind in the same way I re-start the laptop after updating software, for instance. Ahhhh ... free at last! This, too, is a romantic idea.
I'm thinking about it today because I'm going to begin cleaning the kitchen this morning before I go to work. My goal is to clean away every hint that Rat was ever a part of that space. I will scour the surfaces on which he tread with environmentally destructive cleaners (usually I use Mrs. Meyers for everything, but a more heroic effort is required for this job). I will toss out the trap called "The Jaw" (the one he figured out was too dangerous.) I will cleanse, vacuum, mop. I will wipe down the shelves in the cabinets, empty the fridge of all the old condiments, etc. (though he was never in the fridge). I'm going to clean the hell out of the kitchen, I tell you!
When I'm finished, I'll burn white sage to cleanse the energy, then sweetgrass to bring a soft balance to the room. I'll ring my Tibetan bowl and few times, shake my rattle, then play some classical music to smooth and settle the energy.
After that, we'll see how long it takes me to feel good in the kitchen, how much time must pass before I actually want to cook again. I've been eating take-out, going to restaurants, doing the bare minimum in the kitchen because I was so aghast, so completely repulsed, by the presence of Rat.
I don't want to lose all my memories! Many are so wonderful; I treasure much of what I remember. There are also memories that help me learn, even some of the unpleasant ones are reminders of what NOT to do. But the memory of Rat? If I could selectively re-start my mind, that memory would be top on the list to go out with the trash. Oh yeah.