By Larry Feinstein
If what I am about to tell you is not true, I will smack myself really hard on either of my temples, depending upon which hand is free. We can really expose our stuff when the right things go off the rails, causing us to lose our footing. When we are cruising, we don’t tend to look inward, but a monkey wrench or two can force us to polish the mirror, giving us a good look at our stuff.
Recently, my Mac had a serious malfunction, likely compounded by a licensed, technological interloper and supposed fixer. I remember what happened to me the moment I was first told that my machine would have to be wrenched from my grip. I started pacing around in small circles, raising my hands to my head and periodically whispering too loud that I didn’t know what I was going to do without it. I felt like a Woody Allen character. I never, ever liked his portrayal of the terminally, neurotic Jewish male. In other words, I was not happy with my behavior.
I am only able to sit down and write about this horrible experience, now that I have had some time to make an intelligent plan, but more on that at a later time. We are still in the midst of my complete, emotional implosion. The machine under discussion serves as my anchor for each day, always in the center of my spider web life. Every morning, I get up and do a Zen sit for 25 minutes and then I have a pint of water and make a cup of coffee. I flip the screen on my machine, read and respond to emails and then I check on our world’s insanity. After that, it serenades me with my favorite Pandora music. There are similar patterns throughout the day and into the evening, right up until sleepy time.
I communicate for a living and my phone is too damn small to be a computer surrogate. I have never been a whiz kid with cell phone navigation, so it doesn’t qualify as a band-aid for me, no matter what you think.
I spent a seriously hellish, two days until Plan B took shape. I had incredible anxiety and felt as if I had lost my way. I was physically uncomfortable and disconnected. All I could think about was getting my computer fixed in the most efficient manner possible.
I was shocked by the intensity of my feelings, although not surprised by my penchant for routine, just their delicate nature. One of the things in support of habit is that it frees my mind to travel around inside my head and have a grand old time. I can be doing my exact same yoga routine one day and think about my run in with the Mafia many years ago or about camping in southern Colorado on another.
The meltdown had added dimension within a day or two of my private, Mac Mayhem. Flaming Lips, my motorcycle muse, finally succumbed to an electrical ailment, months in incubation. It suffered the indignity of having to be pushed up by its behinds into a trailer, like a reluctant donkey.
The motorcycle is my emotional dialysis machine. Riding on a perfect Kaua‘i day is energetically purifying and she wouldn’t have minded my renting a Harley for my rock solid routine of my Sunday ride with the Sons of Kaua‘i.
The computer and the motorcycle in one week! I have done plenty of thinking during this time of tumult. I think the greatest danger of aging is rigidity, patterns repeated for so long, we have no idea when they first started. It is even more dangerous for the mind than the body.
I have to confess I am nuts and I can’t seem to help myself, or maybe I just don’t feel like it. I genuinely lost my cookies this week and was never concerned that it might be perceived as overreacting because it is simply who I am.
I have never felt there was some huge divide between so-called sanity and fruit cake land. I think we are each an extremely delicate recipe of infinite possibilities and some of us are just ever so slightly over on one side or the other. These recent disturbing events caused me to lose the grace I try to nurture within myself, but that effort is always only one thought or feeling away.
RIP Gregg Allman.
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