While I Was Sleeping

Row row row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily merrily merrily merrily

Life is but a dream

“Mr. Raff, please take her out of here!  All she does is stare out the window!”

Headmaster of The Kimberly School to my father

While I was sleeping

Wars were waged and politics shifted

While I was sleeping a nation rebelled and while I was sleeping a nation drowned in apathy

While I was sleeping the internet was formed and social media was a club you joined even if you didn’t want to

When I was sleeping I could see you but you didn’t notice me

When I was sleeping I saw the terrain, trees and sky but I didn’t notice the tweeting of twitter or the beeping phone or la de da of a wakening computer. I didn’t care

While I was sleeping yoga became business

While I was sleeping I watched thieves but I was too deep in my dreams to stop them

While I was sleeping the church of rock and roll became the alter of kirtan

While I was sleeping the phrase “heart center” was created and it was one of the full –of- shittest things I ever heard

While I was sleeping nothing changed. Not really. The climate did but it always had patterns. Now it is patterned toward demise

While I was sleeping I didn’t change. Not really: Maybe on the surface, maybe my behavior, like yours

I grew up by a wilderness sanctuary and now thousands of miles away I live by another one.  I know it’s more than good luck. I dream of wilderness

When I was sleeping I was avoiding and you call it detachment and I was pure happiness and you call it Bliss

While I was sleeping non-attachment became a chicken shit way of saying detachment, paying attention was named consciousness, thoughtfulness was named mindfulness and it became acceptable to refer to the emotions as the heart center where the assumption is that all things of the heart are goodness and light

“Snap out of it!” I say. Some things can’t be taught but remembered. They were always there. Don’t escape into schools but stare out the window and dream and live in a timeless place

You say”Wake up! The world is changing while you are sleeping and you will be left behind”. But I will wait for it to change again while I am sleeping

I am sleeping and you are naming things Yoga and Buddhism and energy work and talking about chakras. Who gives a shit! These things existed before words stole their fire.

Three times means listen. Three times I’ve turned on the radio to hear one of my favorite bands, Boston, singing one of my favorite songs,

“I understand about indecision

and I don’t care if I get behind

People living in competition,

All I want is to have my peace of mind”

http://s0.ilike.com/play#Boston:Peace+Of+Mind:29526:s50204

And I remember part of a poem I wrote in the 6th grade that earned me a lousy grade

“…Schools and rules and books I’m told, are necessary to unfold the truths of life

The need for strife, to modernize they say is important to our lives

But I know life is dreams and haze and this progressive system’s just a maze.”

Give me a break. I was probably twelve.

Life has changed but not me. “Mr. Raff PLEASE, take her out of here!”

It snowed; a lot. The winter storm advisory in Philadelphia recommended people stay off the roads. The Mayor cancelled the Eagles Sunday Night Football game in an unprecedented display of moderation. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was apoplectic:

“We’ve become a nation of wusses”, he declared.  The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything.  If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down!”

That’s a riot and probably true and Ed Rendell may be one of the last members of the Home of the Free and the Brave

But the snow continues to fall

While we are sleeping

(Published on Elephant Journal)

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2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, yoga

2 responses to “While I Was Sleeping

  1. stephanie capps

    brilliant writing!

    it seems as if i live in a day of puke-ie faux preciousness and inauthentic attempts to “soothe the soul” from self helpers and yoga instructors and authors and energy workers who all probably mean well… ironically, this is probably the most refreshing, most soothing and oddly precious message i’ve heard in a long time.

    thanks for sharing!

    steff

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