A colleague asked me this week how things were going for me. I took the time to smile, to look at him.
“When I go to bed, I try to see myself there, in front of me, sitting on a cushion. And when I wake up, I try to see if I’m still sitting in that place.”
The colleague’s expression turned into almost palpable concern and misunderstanding.
“You don’t understand me, do you?’
“No, not really.”
I explain to him that I am learning to meditate, to breathe calmly, no matter where I am or what I do. As I was talking, I noticed that he was reading something on his screen. I kept quiet. He immediately looked at me.
“Excuse me, I was somewhere else.”
“I saw that.”
“I wonder how you do it, honestly. I can’t do it, as you can see. I have to face a client, the project is in a difficult phase, and…”
I let him continue. I was still sitting in front of him, worried about what he was saying, and, at the same time, I became aware of my breathing, the state of my body, his fragile presence in this suffocating office.
“I’ll leave you, you obviously have other more important concerns.”
The colleague thanked me, and I left. I know it will be fine, that the project will get back on track. The problems experienced are common.
Outside the office, I observed my other colleagues. Some looked up, smiled at me while the minds of others projected themselves on me as if I were an invisible wall.
When I returned to my desk, I told myself that I did not belong there. This thought was not affecting my willingness to go back to work. By becoming aware of my breathing, my feeling of exile is mostly confirmed without further ado. You might think that my personality is gradually dividing, that I am entering a schizophrenic phase of aging.
On my bed, when I return to the meditation exercise, I open an application. We have the choice of visual. All summer long, I preferred to observe winter snow before closing my eyes for the lesson.
I am no longer as systematic in this exercise, I do not necessarily take a ten-minute break to listen to the instructions of the guide. My discipline seems to be moving, rooting itself in my daily life. That doesn’t make me a wise or calm person. I think I instead hear the echo of my initial anguish. My snow falls gently with my thoughts. Have I become desensitized to it ? I am both present and unconscious, always surprised by existence, frightened by the misunderstanding that inhabits me. My fears, my flesh have not disappeared, I do not hold on to any promises. It is both my suffering and my deliverance.
Later in the week, another colleague asked me how I saw my future with the company. I hate that question ! I answered him stupidly, but with a smile that I was sixty years old and happy to experience what I had to experience in this company. You’re never anywhere for anything.
Was this answer satisfactory for this director ? I don’t know about that. I am a Pisces, I am not easily caught with simple hands unless they are more fluid than water. I’m used to running away. Then I will be told that it is no wonder I am alone. It is possible. I may have to understand this karma of separations that is mine. If there is karma. I am more suspicious than anything of well-meaning certainties. And then, I am not really alone even if I still have trouble reading the details of the contracts that bind me to others.
Where do I see myself ? Well, sitting in existence, breathing. I walk in circles like a cat wrapping itself in its makeshift box, like a dog resigning itself to falling asleep for lack of excitement.
The rest is just random literature.