It's about David, his husband Jack, and their dog, Charlie. David loves Charlie, and has many reasons to do so. The story he tells gives the context of that love.
In the story, Charlie gets very sick and dies. David processes his grief.
What does this have to do with my beeping toothbrush? Kind of everything.
The other day it rained down like crazy, putting the circuit out of commission. I've been waiting for days for the circuit to dry out, for my sister-in-law to be able to reset the breaker (which is downstairs in her apartment), for the landlord to fix the house so it won't happen again.
So for days now I've been brushing my teeth, waiting for the batteries to run out on this thing so I will have to move it, and charge it elsewhere. I had sort of subconsciously bought into this foregone conclusion that it would die on me before any good change happened. I've also been letting other things on my mind weigh me down. Political things, job things, project-writing-software-things, all sorts of things.
For lack of a better term, for the past several days I guess I've been doombrushing. During this morning's doom brush I finish listening to that sad, yet ultimately satisfying and comforting story.
One profound thing that David said in the story was how in the height of his mourning he lamented how stupid he felt being so racked about a dog to someone. The guy told him to cut that out, that he had just lost a pet too (a bird), and how all love and pain matters, and doesn't need comparison or validation by anyone.
I nodded. Fuck, yes.
I've been telling people for years now that pain is intimate. It's impossible to understand someone else's pain. It's human to want to compare your own pain to someone else's, to give it context.
But you can't really.
Some days I wake up, pop out of bed ready to just attack the day. I'll do all these many things, give them all time and energy and drive, and go go go. Other days, I don't. I drag myself through the day, feeling like I'm phoning it in on every goddamn thing. There's this tempting lure to fall into a pall about it. I hear this chorus of ugly voices sing to me.
"This isn't going anywhere", "I'll never finish this.", or "None of this even matters." are some of their hits.
You know the thing about mindful practice is, it is a practice. You have to just fucking do it. It's hard. It's work. Sometimes it isn't fun. Often, really. And you don't do it to find peace. If you do, you'll never ever get there. You do it to be present, to feel what's right in front of you, and move with it.
So my ugly voice chorus was singing their faces off to me last night, and some this morning. Then I put on Risk, brushed my teeth, and when I was done, put my brush back on its stand.
Just like you heard in my video up there. And all that doom I had been carrying around, all that expectation and judgment and harshness just left. It felt good.