The St Pancras to Derby, faintly redolent of spicy Knick-Knacks. The windows, smeared, affording snatches of scrubby February field and sub-suburban back garden, forests of washing-line trees flapping their broken cables and offering split-seamed boxers as peace offerings to the wind.
It had been a bit of a day. I’d got lots done, swum in the zone, and the concomitant adrenalin comedown was spreading anaesthetic pleasure-pain through my brain. But inside the heavy lollop of surrender, as I slid deep into the thinly upholstered springs of the swaying seat, was a snag, a needle, a prick: a bit of writing I had to do, and couldn’t, and hadn’t been able to for a while, and which was now permanently stuck in my head like a sour, stringy little fibre of pineapple pinched in my teeth.
However, thanks to recent pursuits (a somewhat beatific smile peeking through), I knew what to do.
I Entered The Now.
I fished The Power of Now from my overstuffed bag, dislodging a tampon and a sock, read a short passage, and stopped at the squiggle. The squiggle that tells you to stop reading, and Do. I stopped reading, and Did.
Honed in on the breath. Slower. Deeper. Felt the rubbery resistance of my lungs. Felt the ingrained laptop-hunch shoulder-ache. Felt the over-sweet cinnamon swilling of station chai steamer in my gut. Felt a bit sick. Thought about the leftovers in the fridge. Thought about flowered fifties housecoats. Tried to remember if I’d Sky-Plused Mad Men.
Tried to re-Enter the Now.
Honed in on the breath. Slower. Deeper. Recalled the passage telling me how to push through my ego-chatter. Felt my eyebrows relax. Felt the slow throb of my heart against my tired forehead. Thought about the name Eckhart. Thought about Oprah. Thought about Tom Cruise. Thought about Nicole Kidman. Thought about Hugh Jackman doing the wet chest thing in Australia. Thought about cowboys. Thought about beef. Thought about ham. Thought about the snag of unfinished writing stuck in my head like a sour, stringy little fibre of pineapple pinched in my teeth.
Opened my eyes.
What I needed, obviously, was to stop Doing and to read a little bit more.