Saturday, January 31, 2009

Time Stands Still

In eighth grade we went on a Shabbaton at the Capital Camps grounds.

What I remember most is one night when we had an hour of free time. I was sitting on a hill, looking out at the stars, watching everyone running around, or talking, or cuddling - and suddenly I was very happy, for no real reason. Time stood still, if only for a few moments, and it felt like I could control just how long that hour lasted. Everything slowed down. I kept checking my watch, astonished at how much time I still had left. It felt like so much longer than one hour when time finally ran out.

Nothing happened - there was no momentous occasion, no story. I just remember this one hour when I sat out under the stars, watching people, realizing that I could think cleanly for the first time, because I had never realized how foggy my head had been before. This brief crystaline moment of peace - a sense of comfortable solitude around people without stress about what I had to do or how I fit. A moment of clarity.

Those moments are rare for me, and always fleeting. So I savor them - I never know when they'll come or what will cause them, but I know trying to seek it out never seems to work. I can tell I've entered into that state because I can think about it and the peace doesn't go away. It's like my eyes open up and my vision becomes clear and little knots of thought inside my head loosen and untie and I can beathe easy and I don't have to think. I am without thought.
I just exist a little bit.

It embarasses him, I think, but I'm a big fan of Dan Strauss. Not just as a man, which I am, but as a musician. I really like his work, to the extent that I would champion it whether i knew him or not. In high school he wrote a song called "Everything a Teenybopper Movie Should Be." And I love that song. Not just because it's coalesced in my head as a memory, the synthesis of everything that was great about high school and that time.

But because of the line -
'And I don't think I can make these brain cells go much faster anymore.'

I get that line. I get it in a way I can't describe. I sleep maybe three or four hours a night usually, often less, and usually because my brain is racing so fast I just can't make it stop (and my dreams are almost always direct continuations of my thoughts). I crave a sense of resolution and there often is no such thing in life, and I think my mental chemistry has a hard time dealing with that. So it goes and goes and goes and I worry about it burning out.


Dan Lyle said...

The state of simply existing without thought is what buddhists call the phenomena of Nirvana. The study of Buddhism is all about attaining this state of being.

Daniel said...

i just got to read this (i've been a bit behind lately). on a personal note, i'm glad you figured out what that line meant, because I don't think I really knew what it meant when i wrote it.

i've been thinking of rerecording that song...

Jason Heat said...

i genuinely love it.