‘My mind is like a speeding train,’ she said, feeling like a crazy thing. It was awful. Grief has a way of playing itself out. She was on the telephone, explaining what she had been going through.
‘It’s a dreadful thing to go through,’ he replied. ‘Can you see where the emergency stop is?’
‘Yes, but there is a large notice next to it with fines up to £100 if there is not an emergency.’
‘I had forgotten that! Pretty hefty. I suppose they have to do this for the pranksters.’
She nodded across time and space. He was thinking about how thoughts, particularly ones that sped, were particularly nasty. This grade level of thought ended up as a story gaining a momentum that is exhausting.
‘Do you know where you are going in this speeding train?’ He was curious. Maybe it was one of those journeys where you get on board and have no fucking clue where you are headed.
‘I have no idea. It just happened. Like I was taken hostage.’
‘OK. Have a look out of the window. Look at the countryside. Look into the distance. Can you do that?’
‘Yeah. I will give it a go.’
She began to focus on the hills that sat under the morning sun. Some clouds drifted into view.
‘Now feel the sensation of the train speeding. It has a certain rhythm.’
She settled into her seat and began to experience the train journey. She looked around. Just a few rows down she noticed the largest teddy bear that money could buy. It almost looked human but its button eyes and teddy bear skin were a giveaway.
The muse came to them. She often visited. ‘Drop in on ourselves. The speed comes from the stillness.’
‘Don’t you wish you had thought of saying it the same way,’ he wondered to himself.
The muse continued. ‘You can think about things endlessly. They tend to push you along to try to work out the world rather than experience the present. That’s when they hook you. So you have a thought, with it comes an emotion and then there is the physical sensation. What powers the thought into feeling awful is the story.’
It is clear that the musing landed on them at the same time. ‘Gosh!’ they chorused.
‘Thought can be a wonderful thing but an over-reliance on it can lead you to all sorts of places. Go rather to experience.’
‘Easier said than done!’ Again in unison.
She knew what they were thinking. This is what muses do. They know everything.
‘Give yourself space so there are other things beside thinking. Become intimate with the direct experience and you allow your body and mind to come to the same place. Don’t look at where you will end up. Start practising now. Remember thought can’t breathe for you.’
* William Shakespeare
© 2021 Copyright Rick Frame
Charles Tenshin Fletcher was the muse inspiration behind some of this.