I’m back from a week on the North Shore. No internet, no cell phone service, no air conditioning, and the only television channels were CNN and that one that plays The Big Bang Theory over and over.
“But what,” one might ask anxiously, “do you do when you do find yourself experiencing a sudden and dizzying lack of internet and cell phone service and satisfactory sitcoms?”
WELL. In this particular situation, one spends a great deal of time reading thick novels and scratching blistered mosquito bites and drinking Finnigan’s and staring out at Lake Superior and pondering the incredibly nuanced and pocketed experience of being a Live Human. I just finished Lama Marut’s book A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life (yeah, yeah, one of those embarrassingly earnest titles that you cover with your hand when reading on public transport), and he says that one of the most important mind states to cultivate is gratitude. Super easy to do when you look out the window and see this:
Also Lama Marut says, since you’re already allowing some potentially miraculous positivity to enter your brain, why not also chew on the possibility that you yourself (the recipient of tons of awesome shit for which to be grateful) are the reincarnation of some super dedicated and flexible yogi from a thousand years ago, and THIS, right NOW, is your natural karmic reward for lifetimes of hard work.
It sounds absurd, like totally unlikely, but WTF is human life itself if not a giant, juicy miracle?
Anyway. These are the things I think of when I take a minute to chuck whatever anxieties I’ve managed to construct in my head and just take a look around me–at my sweet lovie who let me remove her stitches like a BOSS even though my only experience with surgery is readingCutting for Stone, at our sweet pup who ate half of the blinds in a blind panic when she spotted a bear (which turned out to be a golden retriever) through the window, and the thick and hearty Minnesota landscape that folded before us as we drove home, listening to Sarah Silverman’s surprisingly compassionate memoir on audiobook. Maybe we’re all yogis, laughing like crazy at Jew jokes.