Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Red Umbrella

I recently heard that if you concentrated long enough on something, you could actually slow down the passage of time. Buddhist monks practice this deep focus while meditating. The study went on to stress the importance of "staying in the moment" .
I thought about this as I waited in line at my little town's post office. I began to focus on the clerk's methodical questions and his snail-like movements.
Time was slowing down, it was Zen-like, and I was getting very sleepy.
It is true what they say about small towns. People tend to move slower. I am not complaining.
I'd still be in line talking to the lady with the red umbrella, if my husband weren't with me that day.
She said that her grandson makes fun of her for carrying the umbrella when it's not raining.
"It's for sun protection", she boasted. Her face was riddled with bloody scabs and I found myself focusing on the red umbrella. I felt the Zen-sation returning and her words slowly slipping further and further away.
I once had an uncle who had a large portion of his nose removed due to sun damage. It was hard not to compare him to The Great Sphinx of Giza. Because of this, I always felt uncomfortable around him.
I would wager that having a visual mind is equally as harmful as ultraviolet rays, but I'm not a good gambler.
I never will forget the time when my grandmother returned from the doctor's office with her face looking very much like the umbrella lady. It was horrific!
At this point, John was pulling my arm to leave.
There was no more time left to stay in this moment.
As we drove home, I wondered what was the benefit of staying in that particular moment and the only conclusion I came up with was that
if you choose to stay in a moment, make sure you're protected from the sun.

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