I had a girlfriend, many years ago, who swore that I was in fact two very distinct individuals. The first one, she said, was charismatic and self-assured. The second was its almost polar opposite: subdued, unsure of himself, nervous. She could tell which one I was just by looking at me apparently—there were visible, physical changes she said. In my face, in the way I moved. Needless to say it messed with my head a bit. All of us have moments of control followed by doubt, elation that brings confidence...easily squashed by setbacks. But her analysis nonetheless troubled me, mainly because I sensed a certain truth in it: she had identified an internal push and pull that I’d always struggled to keep in check. I still do.
I can only describe this as a set of frequencies or oscillations. When I’m at “my best” it’s a low tremor, like slow waves crashing the shores. The ground feels steady and unalterable. Eternal. The alternative state is a high vibration where everything jitters, where thoughts race by and nothing ever settles long enough to be dealt with. It’s incredibly tiring. Honestly, this is the zone I’ve inhabited most these past several years—and I’m now trying to change this.
When I was younger it used to happen naturally: every time we played a gig I could easily count on at least 4-5 days of inner calm. Call it a byproduct. The other method involved less than savoury hard substances, stuff I’m obviously no longer interested in dabbling with. So I’m trying meditation. I’m using an app that offers guided courses as opposed to trying this on my own—which I know for a fact will NOT work—and it appears to be helping. I do it in the morning if I can, before I begin my day, as a way to ground myself and gain clarity before tackling whatever lies ahead. We’ll see where this leads.
Last weekend we escaped to the countryside. The Japanese apparently have a term to describe “forest bathing”—the simple act of walking through woods and connecting with nature. That’s another way to get there: I always feel a clear lowering of those frequencies anytime I step into the hinterlands. Anytime I escape into vastness and silence. I don’t even need to be alone, I can just breathe it in. This combined with the poetics of space...familiarity, tranquility.
Maybe Thoreau was right.