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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Seeing now rather than then.

So I found myself, as usual, late. No car, it seemed too far to cycle, and so I decided to hitch. Hitching is easy if you’re a nice looking young woman. A smile works wonders. Normally I have to wait about 5 minutes. On fast roads cars often go by too fast for the driver to consider a change of action but normally after 5 minutes one stops. On slow, empty roads, the first car comes by and picks up, usually after about 5 minutes. Always with really nice people in them, the kind that want to help by giving others a lift. Big hearted people. For me it is heartwarming to hitch, to meet wonderful, kind people.

So I step out of my house, in the middle of nowhere, onto the slow, empty road, and start to walk.

No car.
No car.
No car.
Car, wrong direction.
No car.
No car.
No car.

I realise it is a Sunday. It is a Sunday lunch time. Not much chance. I’m getting later than late. Will he still be waiting for me where we said? I imagine having to walk all of the way. Of course I have no phone. So I make an executive decision: I will walk across the mountain, on the dirt road, to the main Nauossa road, and there I am BOUND to get a ride.

So I do.

And I do so like a little pig, squealing all the way, bottom jiggling, eye-balling my watch, panting, stressing and looking straight ahead at the dirt road as if my vision could pull me forward faster. 
After a while of this, I suddenly start to feel like a fool. It is Sunday lunch time, the main time in the week for relaxing, and I am surrounded by this wonderful Greek countryside, all these spring flowers springing...meanwhile I am looking only at my watch and the dirt road and sweating, and panting more than is really absolutely necessary, as if it will help somehow to be exhausted and sweaty when I turn up...evidence of trying against the tides of life... 

I realise I am thinking more bullshit, again. So I decide not to slow down, but to stop stressing, to walk fast, in an enjoyable fashion, as if I had chosen to do sport for my own pleasure instead of self torture. My whole body relaxes, I look around, I like it, my legs are going in a nice rhythm, a pleasing velocity of flowing power, and I began to enjoy myself without stressing about being late. And in that very moment, I realise: I can do nothing now.

I can do nothing.

This is it. I’m really doing all I can. I can only walk fast. I cannot do anything else.

And a space opened up in my mind and I realised with my heart: though I can do nothing I can actually chose how to feel inside, how I will experience this moment.

I can either stress out because I am bound to be late and my friend might not be there and all is heading into certain disaster and I am a mess, and how had I allowed myself to get into this situation once again, this is so rubbish, I’ve been sitting around all morning doing nothing, what a disaster (I’m well versed at this one)...OR...I can calm all the inner shouting down and look about and ENJOY the journey, because there is nothing more to do but to walk fast to the next junction where will be able to make decisions and affect change.


It’s really true. When we can’t actually change where we are, or what we are doing, when we are stuck in a situation, we can choose how we will live it.

So I walk, and enjoy myself, and forget about being late until I can actually do something about it, and enjoyed myself so much that I really did forget about where I was going. I am power walking through the beautiful mountain behind my home, where the flowers are greeting me and I am smiling at the view, with the sea and the bay of Kolimpithres shining their colours for my pleasure.

When I get to the main road, I get to a ‘power’ point of being able to change the course of my ‘destiny’. I had to put my hand out, and do the smile, with the puppy dog eyes...but there are no cars. Again, I feel myself getting ready to stress out. I had now re-remembered I was late. I look at my watch, for the third time, checking if time was speeding up or slowing down. I am late. There are no cars. No cars. No cars.

I can do nothing.

I decide to relax, given my recent pleasure walk, and look closely at some flowers growing beside the road.

A car comes.
Doesn’t pick me up.

Another car comes.
Doesn’t pick me up.

A car comes.
Picks me up.

I sit in the car. Was I going to be late now? My mind makes calculations as quick as possible. Time and clocks and numbers have never been its forte. Yes, I’m going to be late, but not half an hour, only 10 minutes. Time somehow had sped down. I sit there, and consciously don’t eyeball the road trying to make it run under the tyres of the car faster, I just sit there and enjoy the view, and talk my ohh-not-so-fluent Greek to the driver.

We arrive at said destination. And he is there. My knight in shining armour, holding high his sword of a telephone. He is still waiting for me. I mean, of course he is. He had little choice given zero information. There was really no need to have worried at all.

It was all a big learning for me: when you cannot do anything about something, you can choose to enjoy or make it horrible.

So a month or so later, I begin modelling for the life drawing classes at the Aegean Center. It is a rather strange sensation standing in the middle of a room lined with friends and dropping the sheet from around one’s naked body. I handled it by disassociating, a great defence mechanism I would heartily recommend. Slowly I began to get used to it. To come back into the room. I remembered from a couple of semesters ago, being on the other side, being the student who would look at the lines around the model, at the negative space, at the shapes made in space...only a few times would I jump out of that consciousness and think ‘Ohh my! A naked person!’ But she wasn’t naked actually, she was nude. So, nude me, began to get used to it.

It’s not easy standing still. Really it’s not. And so I began to meditate to relax myself into the stance. It was then that I suddenly really did feel naked. Psychically naked. Here I was meditating in front of a group of people. Could they see in? And as I focused into the room, I realised they weren’t looking at me at all, they were looking at my body. I was inside invisible. They couldn’t see the ‘no-thing’ inside, not much.

So, three modelling sessions later, now more used to the whole affair, I am standing there nude, unmoving, in a delectable posture. Until then I had found it all rather exciting and relaxing at the same time. I mean you really cannot do anything. You cannot even lift a little finger. This is the state I like to be in! And being forced into it, 20 minutes at a time, had actually been really calming. I was face to face within myself. What to do? I had meditated most of the time, other times mused on how I was feeling in that rather unusual situation. Power balances around nakedness and nudity, wobbly balances of my body, how my arm is starting to hurt, how a part of my body has gone numb etc. Sometimes I got so relaxed (in the lying postures) that I was half asleep. But not this session. Not so one day before my big journey back to England. I was freaking out. I was ovulating. Not a good combo. Really, not.

At all.

But being professional I let down the blue sheet and stood there naked for all to draw, and inside I am all over the place. I bemoan romance, is this man right? Is this what I want? Can it work? I go over all the problems I can possibly have, all of the emotions I don’t like having. I worry about the flight and the weight allowance. I try and hold back that terror of the ‘airport people and their rules’ that somehow I think could kill me, or my laptop, or dent my trumpet. I worry about moving house and what to leave behind and if I will be ok on the journey and if I will make my connections...

It goes on continuously for some time, a quantity of time that I cannot measure, because I cannot move to look at the clock behind me. It feels like an eternity. Feeling bad.

I had a little break in the clouds and remembered where I was, that I was being divine for all to record on their papers, that last week and the week before I had found it exciting and relaxing...and here I am having a right tantrum...and I can do nothing.

It was now that it began to sink in: I can do nothing; but I can chose my inner world.

I was choosing hell.

So I relaxed, in my nothingness, in the stillness of time, in the unable to move a muscleness...and silenced the within.

Ahhhhhh. It was like hearing next-door’s lawn electric mower being turned off. It was like the silence after the birdsong, or bird fight. It was like being able to turn off heavy metal music and sit in the silence of a deep forest.

I relax, and become calm. I can do nothing and right now I’m going to enjoy it. And how about the worries? Well the rest of the day just went swimmingly. I did all that I had to do, but I had lost that hysteria of feeling all those panicky emotions all of the time...and now that I had myself under control, the points in time when I actually needed to do something were easy, (almost) panic-less...

And now I am in England. There was nothing to worry about at all. Did it, it all went smoothly. Managed to get all that I needed and wanted across, and myself. And even when it actually well less than perfect I was composed enough to let time flow through me, knowing I could do nothing at all. Not right then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your words, lovely Julia. ευχαριστίες for all your nude truisms. <3