Saturday, March 8, 2008

imperfect (perfect) prayer beads

My anxiety hit a volcanic critical mass this week. I felt it rising in me all day, and instead of making some sort of truce with it, I tried my damnedest to bury it.

That always works, right?

My darlin' Bu guided me through when the eruption came, and I unleashed what he says was my biggest freakout ever. (Just a brief qualifier here: He helped me through my mother's death from cancer seven years ago.) It felt incredible to release the tight, horribly knotted mass of stress I'd been containing. Bu observed, for the millionth time, that my difficulty Just Being was the root of all my evil panic.

The morning after the explosion, I felt amazing. I grabbed a prayer bead bracelet on an impulse as I left for work that morning. I never wear bracelts, a leftover habit from art classes- they catch the clay or ink. I thought the foreign feeling might help remind me to focus- a little "Hello, here I am. Here you are," to bring me into a moment.


Driving to work I admired the little orange wooden beads and was feeling very proud of myself and full of great mojo. Then I notived the bracelet is cheap-o fakey junk: the big long bead where the cord should come through (and cue me to turn the other direction if I were actually praying) was just decorative. The knot is a random pokey mess somewhere off center. So I thought, Fuck! I hate this cheap shit and started to spiral into the sorry-for-me-I'm-so-poor idiocy. Then I stopped cold, realizing this little off kilter knot and pretend end bead are the perfect essence of Wabi Sabi. It's a little lesson not only in mindfullness, but in letting go of perfection.

It's really coming home to me only this year that I have an overwhelming attachment to extreme black and white thought. I've been building up huge, palpable pressure from the idea of things needing to conform to my idea of perfection. I've never really figured out that I'm a perfectionist because my idea of perfection is, um, quirky. But I'm realizing that I'm really rigid about conforming to my own standards that are often insanely out of reach.

The beads are a great little trigger to be present, and I really love that I picked up such a perfectly imperfect symbol.

1 comment:

Lexie said...

You are perfectly imperfect, soul-sis!!!!