Seven Days of Meditation
I have been working on an app for those in lock-down - an app that takes those new to meditation through seven days of meditation practice. I realised that there is no reason not to go ahead and upload the audio files, so here is the second day warm-up exercise.
Day Two Warm-Up on Twitter
Seven Days of Meditation Podcast
My Obsession with Process
I love the process as much as the result. When I start writing, I want to know how everything goes together and if I see an issue with the process, I can get bogged down and the result is slower in coming. It is an obsession of mine.
I have been working on creating mobile apps, on creating e-books and a number of other things, but I haven’t been very happy with the process. I like working in code editors. They make corrections, auto-completion and a number of other things an absolute pleasure. I also like working in versioning control, such as GIT. This allows me to have every version of my work available for review or historical reasons. While I am working with e-book editors, I also like publishing to the web. It is so much easier and practical. I have been working on my workflow, trying to get all of these things working together to my liking.
So, I have found a process in the last week or so that - while not completely suitable - ticks a few of the boxes. I am working in Visual Studio Code (yes, a Microsoft product and I love open source, but I got used to it while creating apps). I am able to write anything (including what you are reading now). I can create website content like this, I can create apps, I can create content for e-books, etc. I have all of the benefits of coding editors.
Next, I have tied in this editor with GIT (Github). This allows me to push all of my work to repositories where every version is saved. I love being able to go back through my work and this allows me draft copies of everything.
Publishing to the Web
Finally, I am able to push to my websites from my GIT repositories. So, most of my sites (including this one) are served from my GIT repositories.
I type what I want in the editor of my choice, save to GIT and publish to the wider web. Sweet. Next thing? Automate production of epub files from this sort of content. I have experimented a bit and can do this, but I want more control over the formatting of final documents. A work in progress!
It was my first day of daycare and I was excited about the idea of meeting new kids. The building was a very old school between two towns, most likely unused for years. The corridors had high ceilings, and were lined with timber. It felt to be an uninviting place.
We were pushed into what must have been the gymnasium, with walls even higher than the corridors. The walls were a drab tan. This was not a place made warm and inviting for small children, but rather the creation of an unimaginative mind, neglected for years and then put into use with little thought of the occupants.
In this large room, we were spoken to, told of what was expected of us, while our parents held our hands. I could see other children and wanted to go over and say “hello”. My mother held my hand firmly.
After the speech was barked out, our parents let us go and we children ran into the middle of the room. With smiles and arms outstretched, we gleefully greeted one another. A few were shy, but were taken up in the joy that enveloped us all.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was my first interaction with black children. I didn’t realise they were black. I just saw other smiling children. We all hugged, smiled, talked. It was a large contrast to the coldness of the environment.
After a few minutes, we were told that we would get to introduce ourselves. All became quiet. This seemed a daunting task, but we were told that we only needed to say our names. We all ran back to our parents and slowly children around the room began to say their names. It came my turn. I looked up at my mother and then said, “Gerald”. The child next to me said her name and then the next. About half-way around the room there was another “Gerald”. I was shocked and happy. I had never met someone with the same name as me! I wondered if we would be friends. It was all so exciting!
When the last child had said his name, we were told to go to our classes. I headed for the door of the gymnasium and pulled away from my mother for a moment. I walked past a teacher. She looked down at me and said, “You have the same name as a nigger!”. I didn’t know what she meant, but her tone said that this was not a good thing. I didn’t like my name again until I travelled to Germany at 22.
George’s father said he wasn’t worth the air he sucked down his lungs. George seemed OK in spite of this, except for the odd twitch and his seemingly perverse love for Amanda. Amanda loved being adored. She also loved that she had the upper hand. She didn’t love George, so could pursue whatever agenda she preferred. She even made the effort to pretend during sex.
She had seriously tried with other men, but she lacked the imagination to climax. All she could do was feel the friction and imagine that it was nice. It wasn’t George’s fault. No one had taken her there. Amanda was quite generous in this regard with George and would scream and squirm to make him happy. At those moments, George felt the universe was perfect. Amanda couldn’t wait for it to be over.
George was a romantic. He needed something. He imagined that love was what made live worth living and that his father just didn’t understand love - not like he and Amanda had. He pitied his father and tried to be kind, especially when told that his own existence was a mistake. George gently cared for his father during the last few months of his life, returning home each evening to give it to Amanda. She pretended a bit more these months in pity to George. She considered herself an actress.
At the funeral of George’s father, Amanda shed tears, further proving to George that she loved him. Everything was perfect for George. His father was dead and he was living with his beloved.
One day, George came home and everything was gone. George had $2.87 in his pocket and the clothes on his back. In the empty apartment was a note with “My Dearest” on the envelope. George curled up in a ball on the floor next to where he found the note and cried for days. Eventually, the neigbours called the police. The wailing was unbearable.
The police arrived to find George in a pool of piss and shit. The smell was almost too much for them, but even more shocking was the look of George’s swollen face. He had cried so much that his eyes were almost swollen shut. A social worker was brought in to help George get back on his feet.
What was the use, he wondered? He decided that he would kill himself on Thursday. There was a bridge with glorious views nearby, where he could blissfully watch the sunset with his legs hanging off the railing - like he had done many times with Amanda - and then he could jump. He was happy for the first time in weeks. He even shocked his social worker by cleaning his house. It was absolutely spotless. In fact, it hadn’t been this imaculate since George moved in five years ago.
George was allowed back at work - he was a good worker - once the social worker advised that he had been having some difficulty. To be honest, no one had missed him and some hadn’t noticed he was gone. Everyone pretended to be glad to have him back and felt smug for making the effort.
The week was perfect. George worked diligently and there was talk of a promotion. The apartment was spotless and George even made effort to talk to the neighbours. Amanda returned, after being dumped by a fellow who realised she couldn’t climax. For a moment, George was shocked, but he remembered that he was jumping on Thursday, so he graciously welcomed Amanda back into the apartment.
Amanda was ashamed and also shocked by the transformation in George. He was witty, happy and extremely gracious. As the days went on, she began to finally have feelings for George. He sensed this and returned her affection. These were the happiest days of George’s and Amanda’s lives. Amanda would look back on this time longingly. She had dinner waiting each night for George.
He tied her down and fucked her Tuesday night until she lost all sense. She lost her sense of control and in a foggy hazy, she climaxed for the first time. It was terrifying and perfection. She had to have it again. Twice more that night she released. She knew she loved George.
Thursday evening came. Amanda had dinner waiting. She was so looking forward to George coming home. She had even bought something in red she knew he would like. There was soft music playing in the background while she made dinner with her hair down. There were candles on the table. Amanda sat and waited for George to come home.
“Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.”
~ Albert Schweitzer, Letter to a Japanese Animal Welfare Society (1961)