Thursday, February 21, 2008


By feeling the subtle flow of air in and out of the body as well as the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen, you are becoming aware of the inner body. Your attention may then shift from the breath to that felt aliveness within you, diffused throughout your body… To be unable to feel the life that animates the physical body, the very life that you are, is the greatest deprivation that can happen to you…

Can you feel your body from within…?

Your inner body is not solid but spacious. It is not your physical form but the life that animates the physical… It is the intelligence that created and sustains the body, simultaneously coordinating hundreds of different functions of such extraordinary complexity that the human mind can only understand a tiny fraction of it… It is the elusive “life” that no scientists has ever found because the consciousness that is looking for it is it.
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

I find that an Eckhart Tolle CD puts me right to sleep, in the best sense,
as I have had some insomnia of late.
Last night was so strange.
I drifted in and out of his teachings never sure just when I was asleep.
Still, this morning I was eager to find these words in A New Earth that so reminded me of the sky in Karen Cleveland’s paintings,
the sky filled with all the little bubbles and squiggles over the Red canoe and Red chair.
I keep coming back to these paintings: the sky, the water, the dripping, lolling silence.

I have been trying to understand their hold on me, which brings me to the Red.

I love the Red.
The color seems to Form the word that has been going round and round in me for days.
It is color as embodiment and the word is:
As in the sentence, “Most patients with aortic ruptures exsanguinate on scene,”
But, I only hear the word.
The sentence and emotion apparently choose to appear as non-linguistic image and body memory.

And I feel like spitting up and wiping at my mouth.
And I remember all those years of meditation in which blood seemed smeared across my face – just some memory, some flashback... a bit old pain-body?

Come here.
Tuesday, my cardiologist said that I would need another TEE in August.
They did one a month or so ago.
That’s how they found the aneurysm.

First, they have you open wide and gargle until everything is numb.
Inside your throat your tongue suddenly feels huge.
It seems to fill everything, this huge muscle, blocking off your breath.
I focused hard on staying calm – “don’t panic!”
and then, anesthesia injected in a vein somewhere takes that Will away.

I became an animal simply laying there,
this probe shoved down my throat,
writhing when a torque of the wand causes the pain to spike…
I heard some words, “There, the aorta…”

Then much later,
“Ms. Bralley, do you remember the procedure? … You have an aneurysm of the ascending aorta. You’ll probably be having this test again.”

The word started in my head a while later.
So did the insomnia.
So did the pleasure at seeing bright Reds:
the kitchen towel in the sun, the Red chair, the Red canoe.

When you are no longer totally identified with forms, consciousness- who you are- becomes freed from its imprisonment in form. This freedom…comes as a stillness, a subtle deep peace within, even in the face of something seemingly bad… This too will pass. Suddenly, there is space around the event…and from that space emanates a peace that is not “of this world,” because this world is form, and the peace is space. This is the peace of God.
Eckhart Tolle

These are the words I opened to this morning, as I meant to find the ones describing sky.
These are the words that I found instead, the words that brought searching to an end.
I lay down into the Red canoe and all was well.

Exsanguinate, freed from imprisonment.

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