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Sitting there

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.

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