Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Labyrinthine Lawn-Mower

"A labyrinth is not a maze, but a walking mediation device with a single winding path from the edge to the center. There are no tricks, choices or dead ends in a labyrinth walk. The same path is used to return to the outside. The labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back to the every day world.
Walking a labyrinth is a right brain activity: creative, intuitive, and imaginative. It can induce or enhance a contemplative state of mind. It is a tool which can calm our anxieties, guide healing, deepen self knowledge, enhance creativity, and lead to personal or spiritual growth." - labryinthcompany.com Today I was mowing the lawn for my parents. They have a large sprawling yard and A LOT of grass to keep in check. I remembered all the times I dreaded mowing the lawn as a young teenager. And I noticed that today was very different. I had no headphones on. I was not singing "It's in His Kiss" from the Mermaids Soundtrack. I was not wearing shorts and a cute shirt in case the neighbor boys looked outside. I was not trying to pretend I was doing something - anything - other than mowing the lawn on a beautiful spring morning.

No; today I was pleased by the opportunity to be outside, smelling the grass and staining my feet with chlorophyll. I slowly walked behind the mower, around and around the back yard. I thought about Julia Cameron, and how she said that walking "replenishes our over tapped creative well and gives us a sense of . . . well, wellness." That "walking with our soles is really walking with our souls," quoting the following: "The action or rhythm of walking was used as a technique for dissolving the attachments of the world and allowing men to loose themselves in God."

I also thought about DreamPacker. A while ago she went through a Labyrinth phase. (Not to imply that she is out of that phase . . . she might still be in it for all I know.) She taught me how to draw one. We discussed making one out of rocks in her backyard somewhere, so one could go out and walk it at any time - freeing their mind by connecting right to left. She made a beautiful custom rug that I only wish I could afford. These thoughts led to another which was that perhaps this wonderful woman doesn't know how much she affects my life and mind.

I kept walking. I kept thinking. I went over a story-line in my head. I meandered through countless possibilities for past, future, present events and fictional parodies of each. Then I found myself thinking in a rut. I was walking along the perimeter of the yard, going literally in circles downhill. When I realized it, I rationalized that it was logical that I should be traveling this way because it was the easier path.
The image of the Labyrinth arrived in my minds eye. So I turned around and began mowing in the opposite pattern. I was amazed that my processes lept out of the rut and began flowing in a different direction. I worked a little more, and I was walking directly into the sun . . . but it felt wonderful. Metaphors sprang to mind. I wished almost fiercely for a digital recorder so I could speak and keep all my thoughts . . . then laughing at myself because even if I'd had one on hand, I could not have been heard over the sound of the engine.

We bought a new old car back in January. It did not have a radio. I used to believe that if I didn't have music in the car, I would fall asleep. As it turns out, my brain fills the silence with ease and I am actually more alert without music. I begin to have unspoken communications with the car, and am a better driver. I can calmly think out all my thoughts. I even begin to open my brain up to unthunk thoughts that before had remained wall flowers at the dance where all the music was too fast.

So from this I learned that Music releases emotion, and silence releases thought.
I learned that walking pumps my brain - though the two seem unconnected.
After I was finished with the lawn, I walked the mower back to it's spot under the deck and put it away. I didn't feel sad that the experience was over. But I did take a moment to marvel at how good it felt to have had it.

These were my thoughts today. And my brain would not let my head rest on a pillow until they were got out in a meaningful venue. And I guess I consider this meaningful as compared with other places I could have stored my musings because if nothing else, DreamPacker will know that . . . well . . . I bet she knows anyway.


WildBound said...


DreamPacker said...

Way to go and mow, Sayya! I have been thinking or re-thinking more about labyrinths lately. They are one of the many tools to tap into or balance the brain hemispheres. I want to paint one on the driveway. Trailblazer was kind enough to buy some nice bright paint.

Fedaykin said...

Yesterday I rediscovered that an overabundance of music (6 hours) turns my brain into a babbling, lunatic, A.D.D. beehive of cacophony. Terrible noisy static. I couldn't make it shut up. Today I'm going for silence.

Kassidy said...

Woah, deep.

CowboyBob said...

Well written. Your comment on music and silence is very intriguing.