17 June 2012

Eat, Pray?, love

Over the past few days, as exam study procrastination, I have been reading the book, 'Eat Pray Love'. I have mixed feelings about this book because most of the time I have trouble constantly reading about the religious and overly depressing time Elizabeth Gilbert is describing, but the rest of the time I find it all quite interesting, a different take on my firm, atheist, 'it is what it is' frame of mind. 
Earlier this evening after finishing the horses I noticed that the air was almost warm despite the current time of year, and completely calm. There was an overwhelming stillness to the world around me and it made me stop dead in my tracks, making me look up to all the heavy branches of gum tree leaves to see if it was real. I suddenly thought back to Eat Pray Love and much like Liz asks herself in Rome, I asked myself "what do you want to do Lize?", having no intention for if I was asking myself about that present moment or over the next few hours, days or weeks, I found myself - instead of turning to my usual thoughtless routine of simply going back inside and having a shower and doing homework or going on Facebook - walking out into the 'back paddock' and sitting down on the hard earth on a hay sac to simply in the world around me.  It was very hard trying to slow and still my darting river of random thoughts but I remembered back to my book and started, - although giggling - focusing on the 'Mantra' everyone is given from birth 'Ham Sa' - the sound of one's breathing.  
After a few frowning and concentrated minutes suddenly my thoughts stilled and I could hear the delicate croaking of frogs, the hum of peaceful silence and crickets around me. I could feel the heat of my hands, and for once without thinking of anything else, listen to myself. It was a strange experience and as soon as I reckognised it of course I found my thoughts wondering again and I began to picture myself camping out where I was with friends around a camp fire and I had to stop myself and pull myself back to the present - something humans rarely can hold focus on. 
Those who know me know I'm strongly opinionated against religion but these past few days my open mind, influenced by the description of religion in my book, has been very rewarding. I wonder how long it will last...

I wrote this a few days ago and, as a side note, I have been back in the back paddock every night since. Of course, as I expected, my connections with my book have dimmed and I have hardly thought of it since. Over the past few nights I have just sat there on my empty hay sac, with no intensions of doing anything in particular unlike my first night when my mind was racing. One particular night, I lay under the stars with Meg, a girl who leases one of our ponies. It was the night she was leaving for Ireland for 7 weeks and so my sitting spot is becoming continually more significant every day. 

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