I opened my eyes and immediately knew: this will not be a good day. Morning gone, world in full swing and I had yet to start. I turned around, but the feeling of guilt sickened me enough to kick me out of bed. Pffff, there we go again.

Dawnting dawn

After breakfast I opened my laptop, my workplace, my office. With unwilling eyes I peered at the open document: Course Design Eastern Philosophy. But my mind did not wanted to travel east. The books, ready to be studied, stared at me arduous and heavy. With childlike reluctance, I went into my shell and did not want to come out anymore. Gravity suddenly seemed to pull ten times more heavily on all my cells. My body felt massive. In that same gravity I dropped my head and closed my laptop. Pffff, what a life.

I did not understand why I felt so bad. Last few days it felt so well. I quickly got out of bed, started to work and did my research with curiosity. And at the end of the day I looked back with satisfaction. But now? Pfff, not this day.

With boredom, I switched on my stereo, selected a random playlist and sound poured out. The room came to life a little bit. Through my ears a bit of that life penetrated my body and reached my mind. No intellectual work for me today, I thought aloud with feigned courage. I looked around my room and saw the half-painted window frame. A job that has been waiting for me for a while. The rhythm of the music set me in motion and I decided to start painting.

Movements

I put on, hesitantly, my working clothes, searched for some painting materials, covered the table, put newspapers on it and emptied the window frame to be painted. Pfff, my god what a work, I thought, but the rhythm of the music kept me moving. Mechanically and steady I continued, ’cause I knew that it could make my day a little better, that at least I had done something useful this day, that no one can accuse me of slugabed.

The rhythm of the music and the meditative strokes of the brush bring me into a mindless, almost meditative state. Back and forth, back and forth, nothing but my hand and the brush. My world is shrinking to the tip of the brush. Details of the wood require my full attention. The imperfections want to get well filled up with the shiny moist of the paint. One stroke after another, the music and nothing else.

Suddenly I notice that sounds come out of my mouth. I am singing. Gently, but still. I sing along with old familiar songs from the eighties. Memories awaken, thoughts wander and flow through body and mind. They go back and forth from then to there and from ‘oh yes that was cool’ to ‘ah, poor boy’. Without excitement, sadness or ecstasy, I enjoy musing without purpose, singing without shame, working without meaning.

Reality returning

The last stroke. Pfff. Ready! I let out my familiar sigh. The reality of the world is flowing in again and my body regains its weighted heaviness. The music has been silent for a while and the silence is felt again. Thoughtlessly and still in a bit of meditative state, I clean up the painting materials. I put the brush and the roller in water, cleanup the table and store the rest in the attic.

The clock shows that the day has almost gone. ‘Nothing done today’ sounds the critical voice in my head. But I quickly correct myself. I look at the painted window frame and say to myself: ‘you have painted. Look how beautiful it has become? You may not have been intellectually busy working, but it has been a useful job, well done! My healthy side answered with a smile. Rueful but satisfied I put on my clean clothes. I make a nice cup of tea in the kitchen. With a cookie. I’ve deserve that.

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Rogiér Cenin

I am a philosopher, teacher and experience expert in the field of anxiety, PTSD, depression, personality disorders and just life! I am coming from far and would like to share my experiences and thinking with you.

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