On Thursday at 12 noon, sharp, I began meditating for 48 long hours. OK, it wasn’t continuous meditating. But it did involve turning off the Internet, email, Facebook, WordPress, the News, books, movies, magazines and other fine amusements.
Off went connection to the Larger World. On went connection to the Inner World. I sat for hour after hour after hour after hour after hour after long hour (did I mention how long the hours can seem when you’re simply sitting?) connecting with what is larger than our everyday affairs.
In honor of the Solstice, The End of the Mayan Calendar, and the Beginning of a New Time. It wasn’t easy, my friends. If you’ve ever retreated in this manner, you know. It isn’t Easy. Your inner self rebels. It wants to reach for distraction after distraction. It doesn’t care which distraction. It just wants to fill the emptiness it perceives as annihilating.
It can be agonizing to sit, sit, sit, being present with only what arises.
Noon on Saturday found your blogger finishing her 48-hour commitment and finally checking in to this computerized world and shopping for Christmas goodies at the local store.
At 6 p.m. on Saturday evening she found herself utterly restless and begged her husband, “Can we go to da Finn’s?”
The Finn’s, my dear reader, is a local bar. The previous bar–known as the Huron Bay Tavern or Billy da Finns– became so rotten they had to tear it down (many gathered with tears in their eyes) and now new owners built a brand-new establishment complete with, yes, we love it sometimes when the wife doesn’t want to cook–food.
I desired a fish burger with french fries, please. And, oh yes, a Chardonnay because it’s been a long 48 hours, please.
My husband didn’t really want to go.
“Please,” I begged, “I need it.”
He rolled his eyes.
He’s a good husband.
We drove around the bay, maybe five miles away. I so wanted that fish burger.
We walked in.
Green and red and blue lights pulsated. Loud music reverberated. It was karaoke night at the Finn’s, what do you know!
Immediately upon entering, the karaoke singer met us and tossed red and green Christmas beads–reminiscent of Mardi Gras– around my neck.
Barry immediately steered us toward the far corner bar, away from the loud music.
We ordered drinks. Within five minutes one of my township buddies appeared at the bar, buying us our glass of wine and beer. Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas!
Within six minutes the former owner of the Finn’s gave me a Christmas gift–a small dancing penguin with red cap and red scarf. (Last time we went to the Finn’s for a fish burger he gave me a poinsettia, but I left it on a distant table, as it wasn’t clear that is was really for me.)
It was country music karaoke night, it was, this fine pre-Christmas Saturday eve.
“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill” crooned one of the former local superintendent’s cousins into the microphone. Gosh, he could sing good, too.
We finished our fish burger and french fries.
I thought it was time to go home, but no, my loving husband refused to leave. (Hey, who didn’t want to come in the first place?)
“I can’t leave,” said Barry. “This is too good. This is hilarious.”
(We’re not really regular bar attendees and we don’t usually listen to country music, but we swirled on our bar stools, mesmerized by this northwoods local culture, fascinated by it all.)
I began to pen words to the songs in my notebook, because, just because, this was too good not to share with my blogging world. This so often happens. One of those “perfect” moments arises, and how could I not share it with you? How could this disappear without a trace, unwritten, unsung?
Guess it was time for the blogging break to end because, gosh darn, you had to smell the fish frying back in the kitchen, watch the screen with its flashing bopping words begging sing-a-long, and sip a glass of wine. Just one glass, though, because we don’t want to get too celebratory. (OK, you can have two. I’ll drive home and avoid hitting deer.)
“You don’t have to call me Waylon Jennings. You don’t have to call me Merle Haggard.”
“I’m pretty good at drinking beer. I ain’t out to climb high line poles.”
Lights flashed. Local folks clutched microphones and swayed as they crooned. My little penguin bounced on the bar. It’s Christmas weekend in the North Woods.
“Barry, can I have some of that free buttery salty popcorn as long as we’re staying?”
Yep, folks, it’s Christmas weekend in the North Woods. What are you doing?
P.S. No, John Kuttenberg, Barry and I did NOT sing. (At least not until later when I started writing it down. *smile*)