Yesterday morning when I woke too early, I thought I might fall asleep again if I tried a little meditation.
I’m unused to talking about any such thing, and have to keep fighting off the urge to say ‘medication’. Meditation would be more relaxing if they called it something else. Anyway…
It’s difficult ‘meditating’ when the kittens have woken up and are thrashing around playfully, but I closed my eyes anyway, attempting to visualize something pleasant. The other day I read about a mother who took up meditation with her little girl; they would sit together and fall asleep. When they closed their eyes, the girl liked to think of her cat. So do I. When I’m trying to come up with a pleasant image, I always end up filling my mind’s eye with Sharky. He stares at me with his clear green eyes and blinks contentedly, and that dark stripy tail wraps itself round his feet.
Feeling guilty, I’ve tried to think about the kittens instead, but in my thoughts they fix me with their devouring gaze, giving rise to the unsettling feeling they’re about to thunder over my feet with their claws. That doesn’t make me relax. So I summoned up a beautiful sparkling blue-green wave. It was tight and rolling, rearing up higher and higher – the pit of my stomach dropped away when I imagined the wave swallowing me up along with forests, villages and towns.
I shifted my thoughts to the nature photos on the Caedes desktop wallpaper site. I thought of sunlight arrowing down between tall green trees… beautiful. Static, though; no real depth. I needed something that moved.
Said hello to Sharky again and buzzed past… thinking there must be other images out there I could hold in my mind. Finally I had it – winter snow in Edinburgh. Not just any snow, it has to be early 1980s snow. You would get up in the morning for school, and look out into the blackness, and it was whirling down. Through the back window it disappeared again into more darkness, falling behind the rose bushes and apple tree, but when you looked out the front window, the sky seemed lighter and the snowflakes flew into the hedge.
Normally I hated having to face school early on a cold dark morning, but heavy snow often meant we got to stay at home. That makes it a positive memory rather than a negative one.
In my mind’s eye I tried to be part of that scene, looking out of the window at the hypnotic motion of the snow. A distant pair of headlights appeared at the far corner of the vision, startling me. Headlights? Where did they come from? I didn’t ask for headlights. But they would have been there… cars and buses creeping cautiously through the slush, window wipers beating, leaving plenty of room for each other.
Funny how those headlights beamed out of my memory all by themselves.
The kittens gradually stopped pummelling the lights out of each other, and in my mind the snow spiralled down against a dark grey backdrop… now lashing with fragile fury; now drifting implacably. Next thing I knew, the sun was high and Delilah was curled against my neck, chewing my thumb.