Zero and the Mindful Muffin

I recently started practising mindfulness. Trying to practise it anyway – although one thing I have learned is that I shouldn’t be hard on myself when I find myself distracted, but just notice, and redirect my attention to the moment.

Yesterday it was time to have a mindful meal. From my brief experience I knew it needed to be a simple meal or it would last all day, so I bought myself a blueberry muffin and a mug of hot chocolate, took a seat in the restaurant, settled myself, and began.

For the most part I was able to stay focused on the muffin, noticing how it looked, how it felt in my hand, how it smelt. Then I slowly started to eat it, noticing the texture and the flavour, feeling the sensation as it moved down my throat. And I looked at the half-eaten muffin, noticing how many blueberries it contained, and the different textures inside the cake.

I might have deemed the exercise a success, except that I became aware of how limited my vocabulary had become. The muffin was light brown and slightly crusty on top. It felt quite heavy. It smelt… nice, and yes it tasted nice too, but more than that it tasted moist and… of blueberry. The whole process of eating it made me feel satisfied. I noticed that this was probably, at least in part, due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten much that day and I was hungry.

As for the hot chocolate, well it was a write-off from the beginning as my mind became filled with three thoughts. One, it seems that these days I don’t do adjectives. Not like I used to. Two, I ought to write a blog post about this. And three, I was reminded of a song I wrote 25 or so years ago, when I did adjectives, and vocabulary in general. The song had come back to me a few days earlier and I decided to share it here.

The song clearly comes from my Dylanesque period, and I’m fairly sure the person I was addressing in the lyrics was myself. There’s something curiously satisfying about not remembering the details of what inspires a song, it means I can appreciate it as an almost disinterested party. I’m not saying that this is a great piece, but I appreciate it, and hopefully you’ll find something to appreciate in it too. If you want to get a feel for the music, it’s reminiscent of the Rolling Stones’ It’s All Over Now.

Zero

I know you were always interested in ages
Always so “time and history’s unwritten pages”

You’ve been protected but the price has been amplified
Thought you had time to recover but time is not on your side

I see writing on the curtains and the carpet
Anywhere it could be unexpected
You have lost your standpoint, go and fetch it

Bargaining your patience for their wages

I know you have been aware of pointless culture
Also of the knives of manic critic butchers

“Her lonely loving hotwaterbottled body”
Who said that, and does it matter, no, it might as well be Noddy

Big ears wag, convoluted explanations are beckoned
Leapt upon more readily than reckoned
Nought to zero in a fractured second

Words are flesh balloons and can be ruptured

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