Double exposure Collection by Aava Uusikuu

She died doing what she loved doing… that is, watching her breath. Effortlessly. But fully “aware”. Always follow the SMS, they told her. SMS Slowly, Mindfully and Silently, she noted.

The years leading up to that have been far from silent or mindful, she recalled with indifference. If you watch your breath, you learn to watch your step. So you know to take one step at a time. You’d still trip ‘n fall, but you will also know you fell.

Hell of a difference in reading that off the much-thumbed notebook, and living it out. Much was scribbled on the weathered pages of her notebook, in calligraphy carefully crafted. For she was like that. Always putting in much care and effort into all that she was doing. Much Love, too. Too much, at times.

“You know you have done it right when you get to see you die. That’s when you know, you can do it. Die your death right!” Right, you’ve got just one job to do, and you’d better do that right — she noted down dutifully in her notebook.

I closed the notebook back, fully aware of the salty tears trickling down my cheeks. The very same cheeks that once were flushed pink, but wrinkled ‘n dry now and will soon reach the silent destination that my dear friend is at now. Her ‘here and now’, that is now in a realm different to my ‘here and now’. Or maybe not. Not for me to ponder.

And there’s no point in giving the notebook to the Master, because he’ll simply nod and say, “I know”. For he knew, how well each of us strived in our own way. He’ll also add, “you can be glad you had her in your life, if you like. You can also be sad she left, if you like.”
See what I mean? It’s always “If I like”. The choice, the praise and the blame that boomerangs back with a force equal in magnitude. You keep it to a bare minimum, and you get struck back by just that minimum.

I started heading back to my hut, retreating my steps Slowly, Mindfully, Silently. For the hundredth time, the letters on the wooden signpost crossed my sight. It reads, “Silent Meditation Retreat”.

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In response to Blue Insights Cultural Prompts — July 2020.