I want to think again of nothing.

Photo by Connie Kinsey

I want to think again of nothing.  There must have been a time my brain wasn’t churning, churning, churning.  The incessant monkey mind silenced.  But it’s probably a pipe dream.  I read recently, that even in the womb we dream. If we dream, we must think.  But about what?  Surely not the things I think about all the time.  Surely not.  Please. All that thinking just wears me out.

I want to think again of recess – that wonderful part of our day when we left it all in the classroom and went outside to the bright sun.  I usually played jacks.  When we came back in, the teacher would read aloud from a chapter book.  What glorious days were those.

I want to think again of the latest book I’ve read.  To ponder where the story is going and imagine the characters.  I want to be lost in that scenery, invested in those lives, living vicariously through both protagonists and villains.  If one is too busy to read, one is too busy.

I want to think again of the sounds of the forest and the garden.  I want to sit in my garden, close my eyes, and just listen to the wind rustling through tree leaves, the sound of animals scurrying here and there in the forest, and hear the heart-pulling yet peaceful call of the mourning dove.  Who is she mourning?  What is she mourning?  Does she too want to think of what was?

I want to think again of endless possibilities of what I might be when I grow up.  All the possible pearls one might pull out of the oyster.  The curiosity about where life might lead me.  I’ve been led and there aren’t a lot of years ahead of me.  I think of the inevitable things.

I want to think again of nothing. Blissful, peaceful nothing.  Still and quiet.  Feel the wind on my skin and sound of mourning doves and the scent of late-blooming roses.  I want to close my eyes so I see nothing—nothing that needs to be done or fixed or some other unpleasant chore.

Nothing.  I want to think again of nothing.

A riff on the poem Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver

Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,

but with stars in their black feathers,

they spring from the telephone wire

and instantly

they are acrobats

in the freezing wind.

And now, in the theater of air,

they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;

they float like one stippled star

that opens,

becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;

and you watch

and you try

but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it

with no articulated instruction, no pause,

only the silent confirmation

that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin

over and over again,

full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,

even in the ashy city.

I am thinking now

of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots

trying to leave the ground,

I feel my heart

pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.

I want to be light and frolicsome.

I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver

2 thoughts on “I want to think again of nothing.

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