When I was a child I used to visit a place not far from my home I called “the black woods”. “Let’s go to the black woods”, I would say. It was a sloping copse of fir trees on the edge of mainly deciduous woodland. I loved it. It was silent (no birds) and the ground was a uniform light brown, and soft – a bit crunchy to walk on because of the millions of dead pine needles.
The other day, during meditation, I placed myself there. I touched and smelled the little dribbles of resin on the bark of trees. I looked at the trunks soaring upwards many feet to the canopy of branches high above. It was mysterious and, somehow, I wanted to remain there, but also to leave. In reality, it was always like that – wishing both to remain, and to leave.
In my meditation I stood there for a few minutes and then stepped out of the wood again on to a grassy slope bordering it, where I used to sit as a child. (The grass was so short it was more like moss – the rabbits kept it like that I suppose). Still in the meditation, I remembered that once it happened that a child was walking by and said something about “that man” to her family (I was then a student). It was the first time I had heard myself called a man and I didn’t like it at all. I had never thought of myself as anything other than a boy and evidently I did not want to be a man.
My thoughts moved on to what happened more recently. I got a lot of replies to a dating advertisement I placed from “men who like older men”. And what I did not like about that was the character I had been given…….that I was no longer a person, but just an eroticized character. I don’t want to be a character, but I am one. I reflected that I do the same myself to others. We all do it……We are all busy with these depersonalizations. “I like black men, I like tall men, I like blonds, I like Asians…I like…..etc etc….”
And I thought “when it comes to the music I write, it is also depersonalized….it is judged for what it is, not what it sees itself as…..it may call itself one thing and yet be judged another”.
These were the thoughts and feelings that occurred during this meditation. I know that I shall go in spirit to that woodland area again. It is certainly a happier place to be than this one, though the point is, can I escape from here to there? Because here is somewhere I do not like. I do not like it at all. It is horrible.