Posted by Simon Parke, 02 May 2019, 2.35pm
So I put down my phone.
Carefully does it; it’s like removing an arm.
I place it out of view.
Oh, and I switch it to silent.
I turn off the radio.
This is insane,
And the telly.
I sit alone, without the safety net of noise and information.
I feel restless.
This is clearly a complete waste of time.
A thousand thoughts spring to mind; two thousand anxieties.
Did I lock the car door?
I remember I forgot the milk.
And is it next weekend Geoff’s coming or the one after?
I then interrupt the anxieties. I try listening to my breathing, which is apparently what keeps me alive.
‘And your breathing is always present,’ they say.
So can I be present?
Gradually I become aware of the little universe who is me, and which I look after today.
It’s a remarkable discovery, a new land, my precious life.
Some mad thoughts arrive in my head and busy themselves for a while, supporting each other like a group of drunks at midnight.
I allow them through
My hand wonders about reaching for the phone, just to check…it’s been a while.
But instead, I stay listening to my breathing…my present breathing.
It’s a discipline, yes, here on my sofa, alone.
But also a discovery.
And if I can’t be alone with myself; if I cannot exist without distraction -
Am I fit to be with anyone else?