I need to tell you how I woke up this morning.
I mean, the physicality of the act was not grand. I took a shower before I went to bed last night and when I parachuted out of the covers the hair on the left side had my bangs in a full-nelson.
And sometime while I was sleeping someone had come in and turned my PJ shirt inside out and backwards.
Also my hand was suctioned to my face thanks to the sticky drool octupus-ing from my mouth.
I awoke at 4:46 to crawl out into the crispy Tuesday morning for loops around the Lungbuster Hill of malignant pain. I heard three or four knee-joints pop when I was putting on my running tights. Perhaps from the PJ-perpetrator. But 4:46 is not what I’m talking about.
I didn’t wake up until 6:33.
At least the kind of waking up that I need to tell you about.
After I got back from the run I washed my splotchy face and measured the proper ounces of coffee to the proper temperature of water like a proper snob. I fashioned a bowl of oatmeal with a pinch of salt, a dapple of maple syrup, a splash of flax, and a generous helping of Jif’s creamy natural peanut butter.
At 6:23 I shuffled back upstairs.
I slipped out of my sweaty running stuff and back into my beautiful PJ’s. I waited three minutes before 6:30 when I could eat my first bite of the day. My feeding window is from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Like a shark.
But only because I call it a feeding window.
My morning routine is constant. Perhaps redundant and repetitive a thing to say, I know, but it’s true: every morning I shimmy into cross legged position and pull open Evernote. I write memories from yesterday in my “Memories from Kansas” notebook. I pull open my “Meditations” notebook and label the day in half-German, half-English.
Dienstag, March 27th.
I write at least three things I’m grateful for, three things that would make today great, and three daily affirmations. And then I stream-of-conscious until I have to do my toothbrushing sundance at 6:55.
I honestly don’t know how it happened this morning. Perhaps some deep weighty dream. Perhaps the repetition of the hill loops. Perhaps the imagery of The Return of Tarzan on audiobook.
But something tiny woke up within me this morning as I was writing. Tiny–and potentially wrong–but profoundly interesting.
It deals with the way that I view my own mind, consciousness, soul–whatever the terminology.
See, I used to think that the development of consciousness was a staircase, and as we laugh and love and lose and grow we progress slowly and methodically up our staircase.
Finally, some day, we get to the top and we can see everything. Every step that we’ve taken. Every parallel universe. Everything makes sense.
And then we die or something because there’s nowhere left to go.
But as I was attempting soul-articulation this morning, I saw it differently. There was no lead in, no warm up. I immediately saw it all differently.
I felt as if my consciousness were a room. And this morning, as I was writing, I was being transported from standing on the floor to laying against the ceiling.
As if that’s all that consciousness–and perhaps Enlightenment (including all the connotations)–is. Getting to look at the room from all of the different angles.
Perhaps we start our journey by crawling on the floor of our room. It’s not well lit, but the floor is interesting enough that we don’t seem bothered we can’t see beyond. We spend time crawling around until we get the first kick-in-the-pants and we get to stand in our room.
It looks different on two feet. Less stable. Not so comfortable. There are new things here, both wondrous and unknown. Which we are told are scary. So we are scared.
But we explore and we seek and we stumble back to the floor and the law of boredom always pushes us back to our feet.
Perhaps after some time we are propelled to the ceiling. Like in The Twits. Our feet are suddenly attached to the ceiling. We can walk around like it’s the new floor.
Everything familiar is upside-down, including us. We get to examine every concept of truth, every concept of what is pure, what is noble, what is upright and moral, as it stands from the ceiling.
Maybe the next stage is to let ourselves drift to a wall and observe how the sunlight streaming in from the window hits our room much differently than the view from the ceiling. How it makes even the floor appear a different color.
Perhaps we spend our lives drifting around this room. Leaping from wall to wall. Finding ourselves more weightless than imagined. Spending some nostalgic time back on the floor. Doing cartwheels against the ceiling. Making shadow puppets in the streaming sunlight.
And then death is nothing more than the door to our room opening. Or the sun setting. Or something more than finally making it to the top.
And now of course I have a million questions.
Does everybody’s room look the same? Do we get to redecorate? Do we have visitors? What’s outside the room? Who made the sunlight? Where did the gravity come from? Can we fully know our own minds without getting bored?
Wake the body, wake the mind, wake the curiosity. Repeat.