Where is the meadow of no worries?

Today’s musings brought to you by Haruki Murakami.

Afterwards I plop myself down on a bench in the plaza next to the station and gaze up at the sunny sky. I’m free. I remind myself. Like the clouds floating across the sky. I’m all by myself, totally free.

Reading these lines in Kafka on the Shore earlier today brought a latent desire to memory. The desire to sit in a comfortable nook having completely rid myself of worries and expectations (shortened to woes because why not). It is somewhat ascetic, I am sure, but it is real.

I can’t recall if this was true my entire life but I know for sure that my 20s have been riddled with woes. Point at any moment in the last half a decade or so and I could tell you what I was worrying about in that phase of my life. Normally I would spill some hindsight-fuelled wisdom along the lines of “none of those worries mattered in the long run” - but that’s just not true.

Or at least not entirely true.

All of those woes mattered quite a bit. They mattered not just in that moment but also in the long run because they shaped my identity.

And - most importantly - if I am worried about something right now, it is of significant importance to my life as a whole because this is all the life I have! I cannot account for the life yet to come because it does not yet exist!

At least not in my present experience of spacetime.

All this while I have sought relief from these woes, to no avail. Whatever temporary relief occurs is invariably accompanied by the “worry of no worries”. Just can’t catch a break, can I?

What I seek thus is the meadow of no worries. A place-moment in spacetime where I truly am able to shed my woes and experience the comfort of mental silence.

As I relax on the sofa and gaze around the room a thought hits me: this is exactly the place I have been looking for all my life. A little hideaway in some sinkhole somewhere.

But that place-moment doesn’t exist, does it. At least not how I imagine it.

I guess that’s why I like to run. When your focus is on getting the next breath in without tripping and falling flat on your face, you really don’t have the time to think about your woes. I wouldn’t call it being mindful though because I hate that word. My mind is already past its storage capacity, I do not want it any fuller, thank you very much.

I do recall feeling this way with certain literature but unfortunately it no longer works for me. Now when I read/watch something, anything at all, I am always altering my mental schemas, reconstructing beliefs, developing plans for woes. No real emptiness in my head from consuming literature.

Physical exercise is the only one. Perhaps there are more. I need to go looking.

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Last modified: Mar 12, 2021