Thursday, April 13, 2006

Can you make the squirrel stop?

The woods are different this time of year. It's a shadowy, between-the-seasons kind of time. Today, it could just as easily have been late October as early April, with a cold damp wind making the branches of the tall cedars moan in that creaky, shiver-inducing way they have...

There's a circle of trees I visit every day. Their branches form a canopy that makes you feel like you're in a cathedral. I go there to think and sort through stuff that's preoccupying me, or to ask myself questions about life (I guess that's a form of prayer).

And then my dog and I wander through the woods. We have a few routes. Every day we see herds of deer. He chases them. He never catches them, of course. Every day the woods are unchanging, and each day nothing's the same at all. I love those walks, and the woods--I mean, I feel real, genuine love for them. I try not to disturb a single thing, because they're so perfect.

Perfect except for one little creature, that is: the squirrel in my brain. The one who just runs round and round, non-stop, always thinking, planning, obsessing, dwelling, dreaming, while I'm trying to enjoy the damn scenery. You might think 'Lighten up, some of those things are healthy--it's okay to day dream.' But then, you may not have the same obsessive tendencies I do. There's a squirrel in there, and he's not just lazily roaming from cool idea to cool idea. He's found himself a nut, and he's working that nut, turning it around and around and around. And I want him to stop.

And that's the thing that counts, isn't it? It's not the fact of that constant stream of thought and self-talk (as the psychobabble refers to it), it's an issue of control. So here's the question: how do you make that squirrel sit back and take five?

I'm sure you've met my squirrel. He's probably visited you once or twice in the middle of the night, making you wake up in terror at the thought of a conversation you had earlier that day. Little bastard likes to mess around at the most inappropriate times...

I've tried various...pest control...techniques. Meditation, visualization, baths, quiet time, relaxation techniques, breathing, yoga, yada yada yada. They work for a while. Yoga worked best. Running and walking are bad, because they seem to somehow trigger the squirrel. But of course, I run and walk every day--and never do yoga anymore.

What I'm looking for are some thoughts on how to stop my thoughts. Not including death, alcoholism, or narcotics.


Blogger jackp said...

how about sex?


9:00 PM  
Blogger Gizzy said...

Eat a lot of nuts, or maybe just rig up a ball cap that has a nice walknut dangling from the brim. Might be distracting enough.


3:49 PM  
Blogger Gizzy said...

Yeah...walknuts...them's what it's all about...

3:50 PM  
Blogger superchop said...


12:49 AM  

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