Breath is truly the key to steady mind & hand. Here, I give you a challenge, and I will take it myself. For 2 days, I am going to do my best to keep track of my breath in every moment, in and out. I’m already started. I missed it there for a moment. Again, I did. Writing and breathing are hard to do together. One has to find the cadence of breath. Or, it’s like surfing a wave that is revealing its decision. Searching for words envelopes breath. I wonder what my patterns of losing sight of breath look like. They probably involve turning away.
I need to write slower. Much of the time I am re-righting, anyway, as I find the write words. It’s interesting how one can keep a consistent forward momentum, even whilst stepping backwards. It reminds me of something I’ve always said about time travel. You may travel backwards in time (I mean, if it’s possible), but if you remember the future then you have a forward frame of reference with time that continues to advance (as you change as your mind relates to your experiences) as the past re-becomes a new future.
But I do keep editing. I wonder if the edits show through the writing. Can a subtle reader detect where I rewrote (the time traveling parenthetical thought, inserted long after that which it interjects itself into), or changed course, or modified at a later time. Would they care? I suppose the ability to do it generally translates into something. But probably all that’s necessary is being able to do it for one’self. The rest is practice for that very thing.
Is it only the palimpsest hermeneut who can be bothered with layering?
I think the layers of writing blended in an edited text are much like the layered breathing of our bodies. The only real way to stay on top is to pay attention all along. A-ten-hut.
There is a particular feeling to breathing with the whole body. A warmth throughout. A steadiness born of coordinated muscles. Breath naturally slows as weight sinks down into whatever’s underneath.
I’m taking this challenge because I’m willing to bet two days of my life that gaining the habit of not losing sight of one’s own breath is a good precedence to set and in fact results in a state of affairs that I can use to catalyze and make more efficient my own efforts. There is nothing wrong with wanting to amplify one’s efforts if one’s aim is true. I will give an honest account of how it goes as a labeled edit. Perhaps I’ll add many.
Anyway, it’s time for bed. I’ll try to have a lucid dream and in my lucid dream I’ll try to pay attention to my breath and keep an eye out for the clear light, too.
(09/15/12): I keep forgetting then remembering. I expected this. I’m flowing with it right now.
(09/16/12): I keep forgetting then remembering. I probably paid attention about 5% of the time. That’s better than 4%. Small steps. I’m going to give myself the challenge for another two days. I want to increase that percentage.
(9/27/12): Check out for a much better breath.