1 June 2021 - properly dark, other kinds of writing, slow and sleepy, mindfulness without having to be unwell, the reading spot

1 June 2021

Hey there,

It's been a bit of a busier season for me, hence the lower frequency of emails.

Here are the best reflections I can articulate around goings-on in the last month.

I write letters home every now and then to ~20 of my family, close friends, and those I'm in close proximity to (aka close friends to be).

This is my way of inviting conversation, feeling heard, and staying connected. I'm writing this because you matter to me. Though I would love for you to read and respond, this email is expectation-free. It’s enough to know that some of you might read it.

1. Properly dark

A few weekends ago, David and I visited the nearby Ngarua Caves.

Halfway through the tour, the guide showed us what it's like when the lights are out.

There's absolutely no light that far in.

He got us to wave our hands in front of our faces. Nothing.

He also informed us that our eyes would keep trying to "adjust" without being able to see anything so after a few minutes, you would end up hallucinating as your brain tries to make sense of what it's (not) seeing.

It would have been nice if he told us that once the lights were back on.

2. Other kinds of writing

Though I haven't been sending letters home, I have been writing. I've been writing articles on the alternating themes of getting organised and sales habits.

It's been a little while since I've been doing this consistently and I've found it really energising.

I was a little inconsistent last week though, on account of catching a cold.

3. Slow and sleepy

I'm recovering from a cold and today is day 9.

All that's left is a cough. An obnoxious, interrupting cough. A cough that makes it rather socially unacceptable to be out in public.

Last week, it was more than a cough - my nose, eyes, and brain were not themselves. I slept long every night and moved slowly through every day.

It was a nice thing, in a way, to be so dopey that you can't remember what you're meant to worry about.

It's like inadvertent mindfulness.

4. Mindfulness without having to be unwell

My downstairs neighbour is, among other things, a meditation teacher.

I started attending her course last Thursday evening (via Zoom, of course. I couldn't attend with the cold and all.)

It has been a long time since I've had a meditation practice and I was truly nervous that I couldn't do it any more.

And yet, it came back to me. I fully engaged in a (guided) 40min sitting meditation, only taking one break to change from jeans into more comfortable pants.

It's nice to know that this room still exists in my inner mansion.

Especially considering I can't get out much.

5. The reading spot

I haven't been outside in over a week.

One place I look forward to visiting again when I return to the office is a bakery / burger joint / fish and chip shop / cafe named The Fat Tui.

They don't make the best coffee but they're open until 8pm, so they've been the provider of many an emergency sandwich / coffee / sweet.

In one of my most recent visits, I noticed a sign that says "more seating upstairs". I must have seen it a bunch of times, but I'd never noticed it.

Above this cafe, in the middle of Nelson city, is a room with 5 picnic tables and afternoon sunlight...and it's almost always empty.

I sat there and sipped coffee and read a book in solitude. It was incredible.

I can't wait to go back.

I hope you're all well.

Talk soon


PS - pretty sky last night, or at least David thought so