But the salient experience of the night was not so much the art, but the feelings that were following me that evening. There was the awkwardness of not knowing a soul. You've been there, I know you have.
It was early evening and overcast, the countryside quiet. And not that I was given to wild evenings of revelry and socializing in the city, I found myself feeling lonely. And with the feeling of loneliness I noticed the thoughts that supported it: worries about will I make friends here in this new place, maybe my art isn't good enough, will we find a home we love. The mind projecting itself into the future, on a little jet stream of worry and doubt. In truth these thoughts have been percolating in the background for a while now.
Yet as we chatted about them on the way in to town they somehow lost their grip. Monsters hate the light of day. I could see them as just thoughts, with all their unreality, the mind doing it's reflexive thing. Certain habitual thoughts seem to arise as the Buddhist saying goes "when all conditions ripen": the time of day, the grey sky, the quietness of roadways. I could remind myself that this beautiful green landscape was what we'd been longing for when we lived in the city.
Life here is simply minus the city activities of nipping out on an errand or two. The hum of the TV doesn't fill the evening. Without these things life is quieter, simpler. It takes time for the gear shift to click in. But it's good to notice the arising of these thoughts and feelings that create subtle undercurrents. It keeps them from getting up to their subversive little tricks of masquerading as the truth. What's that bumper sticker? "Don't believe everything you think."
In all of this I was reminded of a quote from a book I am reading, "The Wise Heart" by Jack Kornfield. "Who is your enemy? Mind is your enemy. Who is your friend? Mind is your friend. Learn the ways of the mind. Tend the mind with care." -The Buddha
And which of those grey haired women was "Lady X"? My mind has several theories, including me as Lady Why.