Monday, March 7, 2022

Mindfulness-ish - 3.07 #sol22 Story Challenge

Onscreen glows an illustration of a stately tree, wide of trunk, infinite of branches. My ears take in the even voice of the woman facilitating this meditative moment. She and I, along with a number of my colleagues, have filled the school cafeteria on an in-service day.

I am that tree, she is telling me: my roots reaching deep into the earth, an immovable grounding force; my strong limbs stretching expansively toward light above. I hear a curious whirring. My eyes are open, gazing at the projected tree, so I dart them in the direction of that unexpected noise.

A large bearded man wearing a baseball cap has climbed up a utility ladder and is wielding an electric screwdriver to fasten something to -- or unfasten something from -- a drop-ceiling panel. (That might be a camera bubble he's working on, I realize, a more intrusive kind of mindfulness.) The tool whines an extra beat, then cuts out, the man taking in the room's quiet vibe. Almost sheepishly, he tiptoes down from the ladder, and I can see his coworker still steadying the ladder shoot him an eyeroll. They stand opposite each other, miming patience, their respective hands folded on top of the table between them. They wait.

I notice the subtle lifting and falling of their chests. I sync my breathing with theirs. I'm not the tree anymore; I'm people with jobs to do whose work might feel more urgent than it actually is.


  1. I was all ready to meditate along with you, until the abrupt interruption of those workers. Your phrasing is so interesting - 'the tool whines', 'shoot him an eyeroll', 'miming patience.'Great last sentence, although I personally wish you were still the tree.

  2. This feels like those times when someone comes in my classroom to "not interrupt" and then proceed to work on something. Urgency is felt everywhere, it seems sometimes. In other places, it is no where to be found.

  3. This was funny! And that last line was really powerful- those guys must have been like "What the hell is happening here?!" Hard to be the tree with all that commotion.