December 13, 2016 (Tuesday)

by Yule Heibel on December 12, 2017

Another one of those off-kilter mornings where I don’t have enough time to fit in both the things (meditation and writing) along with reasonable morning sociability before W. heads out, so I opt for meditation followed by sociability, and since the sun is out on this crisp morning, I walk with him to the station. By the time I get back, my sunroom desk is flooded with hot, hot light and I have no other option than to pull the blackout blind all the way down to the sill. Now my view to the horizon is completely blocked.

Today’s meditation session was again antsy, anxious, hallucinatory. I’m having trouble with the visualization(s), which is odd since I usually find them, if not easy, at least pleasant. Often delightful. Not happening in this last 10-day segment of my current 30-day “pack.” I’m supposed to visualize myself first, a pinprick of bright light in the middle of the chest, which expands and grows, filling the entire body. My focus is on the light as well as on a feeling I’m supposed to have determined beforehand. Today I think, quite unexpectedly, “I want to be good,” and as I sit there trying to feel my way toward a sense of ease as the visualized light fills my body, tears start to squeeze through my closed eyelids. In the next section, I’m supposed to imagine someone else’s happiness – not that I succeeded in imagining my own. I decided beforehand to choose E. I want the feeling I have for her – imbue her with – to be fearlessness. I try to picture the pinprick of light, the growing light, the sense of fearlessness. But an image of my mother intervenes. Then, out of nowhere, I recall the orthodox Jewish custom of a mother slapping her daughter across the face when the latter first comes to tell her she’s bleeding, has started menstruating. I’d heard of this, and a couple of nights ago or last week or so, I read it in Paglia’s book, too. …Something about the slippage, female, into the chthonian, the failure to achieve the apollonian. I see E. receiving that slap (not from me, from some anonymous force out there), and I see my mother turn away. At the same time, her mother appears. By now my visualization has gone completely askew. I see this rather frightening Quadriga of sorts – of Oma, Mama, Mama, E. Ma ma ma ma… Endless, but not really, because circular. I think that maybe Paglia is getting to me, but I also acknowledge that this wounding, this slap, this denigration (I’m not “good”) is real. It makes me sad. Sadder. The only way I seem to be able to break this black magic circle is through naming. Not Oma, Mama, Mama, E., but our names, what we are called. We were named, we were individuated. We are not inarticulate, slapped in the face, syllable-bleating ma-ma-ma-ma over and over, not “bad,” not doomed to the muck. At least not until we die, and then there’s always cremation. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

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