Monday, February 12, 2007

Lesson in mindfulness

Yesterday I arose from meditating with a very clear plan for dealing with my bedside lamp problem. For years I have struggled with this thing, which looks like a lamp from the future, sent back to our time through some sort of cosmic garbage chute that opens onto Ikea. I decided that because the prongs of the plug don't fit in the wall socket, I would *squeeze them together with my fingers* as I shoved it in. The shock was like a wire snake racing up my arm.

I remember reading a poem years ago about a man who, deep in the throes of depression and alchoholism, gets the idea of thawing the frozen cap on his car's gas tank with a lighter. He catches himself walking toward his car, lighter aloft, thinking, "flame melts ice." Fortunately he stops himself and lives to tell about it. I pulled my stunt supposedly in the throes of mental clarity, and did not stop myself. But I was lucky. I'm still using the lamp, though, with a power strip.

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