Stirring the Caldron of Time

Photo: ‘Momentarily Bright’ by Pete Linforth – Pixabay

As I opened the fridge door and wondered what would take the edge off my hunger, before I want out for my walk, I heard my mother, sitting at the kitchen table, say,

“I never wanted to be so opinionated.”

I glanced at her, sitting under the pendulum clock on the wall–a clock that had measured out my childhood and still chimes in my dreams sometimes–and returned my attention to the fridge. I selected a slice of beef, now a dull reddish color because the well-done edges of the roast had been polished off after church the day before, added a slice of Yorkshire pudding, folded it around the beef to make an impromptu English sandwich, and demolished it in a few bites.

Glancing again at my mother, who seemed lost in some private reverie, I said, a bit indistinctly as my mouth was still chewing roast beef, “You don’t seem opinionated to me, Mom.”

“Sometimes I feel that all I have are my opinions,” she continued, leaving me unsure whether she was responding to my statement, or continuing with the theme she had launched when I entered the kitchen. “Everything I think is a thought that only adds to something I have already thought.”

I found myself wondering if she was feeling depressed, and pondered that if everything we thought was just adding to what we have already thought, then there could be no creativity or originality. I paused at the kitchen doorway, on my way to the dining room, turned and said, “You’re creative. You do pottery, you write things, you ponder the role of humanity in the world. You seem open to exploring new possibilities when you do those things.”

She seemed not to hear me and I continued into the front of the house, took off my slippers, put on rubber boots, donned a raincoat and hat, grasped the front door handle, and swung it open.

My mother was standing there, her face wet with rain, looking exhilarated after her long walk.

About Michael Gray

I first started studying TSK in the mid 1980's and have since attended a number of retreats and workshops at the Nyingma Institute, in both TSK and Buddhist themes. I participated in the life-changing Human Development Training Program in 1991, and upon returning to Albuquerque co-founded an organization, Friends in Time (with a friend who has Lou Gehrig's Disease), which continues to serve people with similiar disabilities. I contributed an essay to "A New Way of Being"--the last one in the book--in which I describe how learning to honor who I have been has broadened and deepened my openness to present experience. I live in New Mexico with my wife and two sons.
This entry was posted in General TSK Discussions, imagination, memory, presence, stories, time and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Stirring the Caldron of Time

  1. David Filippone says:

    Michael subsequently commented to me…

    “I seem to have entered a phase of posting invented scenes, which I’m finding in the writing journal that I have used for more than a decade in the rapid writing [class]… I like it when there is some kind of truth peeking out from the edge of the forest. In this case, both her creativity and love of walking in the rain were true of my mother. But neither she nor I were as able back then to reflect the understanding, which I have discovered in the TSK vision, that ordinary thoughts tend to be woven from the cloth of our past thinking. That realization can itself be a fresh thought sprouting in the midst of the established regime of mind.”

    [Emphasis added]

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