Nature’s Call Meditation
Weekly Writing Practice
This past week, I went through lessons from a Hedgebrook course called, “The Surprising Power of Vulnerability” with Claire Dederer. There was a prompt to turn a normal every day moment into a scene. The idea was to pick something neutral and work with it. For some reason, going to the bathroom was a moment that emerged for me and then I recalled something amazing that happened just a few days ago while I was answering nature’s call. Don’t worry. This is a rated PG blog and totally suitable for work material unless you think talking about relieving oneself is offensive.
What I wrote:
I finally gave in and rushed to the bathroom. I was about to burst as I was holding it in for far too long. I wanted to get a certain list of items done before I respect my human need to obey nature’s call. Things to do took precedence over heeding my body’s natural function to relieve itself. Perhaps it was a game I played with myself. Just this one more thing and I’ll go. I tried to shoot for this incessant want of getting it all done.
I rushed through the door and slammed it behind me, not even remembering if I locked it. The vast window next to the toilet let some sunshine in through the clouds. It created an apt spotlight on the white throne. There was no time to let the blinds down to create some privacy. The urgency of the situation led me to feel the coldness of the seat against my thighs as I looked out the window finally relieved. Why didn’t I do this sooner? The thought of someone watching me crossed my mind and it passed just like the clouds against the canvas of the vast blue sky. The sun hid behind the clouds and took away the spotlight it created on the toilet and myself. It was a cloudy but not gloomy day. There was a hint of sun every now and then.
The formation of the clouds kept changing. Some moved ever so slow and some passed by fast. The unique shapes of the clouds and the way they merged and dissociated gave way to manifestations of live art happening right before my eyes. Sometimes the sun joined in and peeked from behind the clouds radiating its rays. Every passing second gave birth to a new formation of clouds and a unique filtration of the sun’s light. No one formation was the same as before and each time the sun let its rays fall in a different manner. The placement and shape of each cloud was for that moment alone. It existed only then and was forever lost never to come back again like an intriguing kaleidoscope with endless possibilities.
As a child, I turned the kaleidoscope by choice and took in the emergence of a new pattern with the flurry of new colors. I turned it again to appreciate a new pattern. I had no choice in letting the clouds know it was time for another pattern and shape. I did have the choice to appreciate each single new moment in its birth and passing. The moment I was in would never happen again in the same way. “Thank you clouds for this beautiful message.” I stated in my mind.
I ran the faucet letting the cold water hit my hands. I waited for it to warm up. The piercing frigid water turned to warm comfortable reception. I held the moment and let it go to receive the next one. I got back from my alternate universe in the bathroom and slowed down a bit to savor each moment. I took it all in with the help of my senses and then I let it go. Sure, there is a laundry list of items to do and it will always be there. The items might get done or not but this moment will not come back. The kaleidoscope will turn and there will be a new pattern, new art, and a new moment.
It was enjoyable to transform this simple moment into a scene. I’m inclined to practice this skill further. After I put this on paper, I realized this is the strife of every mother and caretaker. I seldom get moments to myself and I am prone to whittle them away with useless activities that don’t serve me. This moment of meditation granted me the insight that every moment is priceless and will never come back again. If I am fortunate, I might get a similar moment and by that time my perspective might shift. A wise friend shared a quote with me after having read this piece.
Heraclitus said, “You cannot step into the same river twice. Cratylus retorted, “You cannot step into the same river once.”
My friend explained, “While Heraclitus pointed out the ever-changing nature of the river, Cratylus pointed to something more, perhaps that not only the river changes, but so do you…”
My mind was blown. What is your take-away? How will you spend your precious moments after this insight?