Comfort for the Apocalypse, September 2021
"A dying planet and an aging body"—BINGO. Plus all the other factors you mentioned, of course.
In this chronically overstimulated world, we grasp for everything all at once - more colours, more sounds, more intense flavours. It's kind of numbing. I try now to make a practice of unitasking - doing one. thing. at. a. time. Why cheat my breakfast by sullying it with radio chatter? Giving each activity full respect. Not only is this more enjoyable, I think it is ultimately a more efficient way to work.
I am sewing my okesa now, my buddha's robe – the 'rice field of happiness'. Holy cow what a shitload of sewing that is! Tiny stitches, row upon row, rejoining the plain black squares of nondescript fabric intentionally cut asunder to render them worthless (or priceless). It's not creative work or especially impressive, and at first my mind screamed out for a tune, a podcast, the easy chatter of other sewers. But now as I sew in silence, chanting the refuges with each stitch (the buddha, the dharma, the sangha) I find sometimes extemporizing and improvising and embroidering them in my consciousness. Silence without allowing richness within.
I haven't been writing for a while either. It started to feel like a burden rather than a delight, so I decided to give myself a break and play with other media. Just do one thing at a time. Loveya dharma sister!
Dealing with menopause during this pandemic has been a bitch. While I've always had a sort of "inattentional" variety of attention deficit disorder, which definitely has been exacerbated by menopause, prepandemic I seemed better able to construct my schedule/world in a way that kept me on track better. Now I alternate between flitting from one incomplete task to another, and getting so focussed on one project that all else gets ignored. Going to try no radio while I'm working at see if that has any impact.