A strange thing happened the other morning during meditation.
I sat and began calming my mind, as per my usual attempt, when I had a thought. Well, several thoughts, but one specific thought: I am the observer of the thought. My mind went from there to being aware that my heart beat was racing a little from my morning exercise, and I thought, “I am the observer of the heart.” I am the observer of the rain that was falling; I am the observer of the hand that dropped to pet the crying cat.
I am the observer; I am not the thing being observed. I am the observer of the body; I am not the body. I am the observer of the thought; I am not the thought.
I didn’t have to do or change anything, but merely observe.
I am the observer of the mosquito that was biting me, right in the middle of my forehead, but I, too, am the observer who smacked it, smacking myself.
So much for not doing or changing anything.
Funny how time flies. I was out of town this past weekend, a road trip to see Melissa Etheridge in Oxford, Alabama. I saw mountains for the first time since I was in Arizona, a mere 15 years ago.
She was touring for the 25th anniversary of her “Yes I Am” tour, a concert to which I had dragged my boyfriend in exchange for seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I don’t remember a single thing about that Skynyrd concert. I don’t even remember if I went.
Twenty-five years. Gone. Just like that.
The concert itself was excellent, but it was a totally different experience than my seeing Live a few weeks ago. Etheridge’s concert was in the Oxford Performing Arts Center. Looking like a Mississippi courthouse, the Center was all stately and formal, like a grandmother at Sunday church. The inside, however, was a whole other world: burgundy and green–much like my website colors–with rolling spot lights and a chandelier from their production of The Phantom of the Opera. Smaller than the Beau Rivage theater, and thus far more intimate, the seats were comfy and the acoustics were incredible.
I could hear nearly all of what she said on stage (except when she did that husky-voice-dropping thing). The seats were also far more comfortable.
The energy was more sedate; I think the majority of the attendees were theatre patrons rather than Etheridge fans.
I think I may have just a little bit of the habit of judging something less on its own merits and more as it stacks up against something else.
It took me a long minute to realize that, instead of being a mere observer to the show, I was thinking how it differed from Live. Not the music itself—each act its own style, and each plays it exceptionally well. But I was scanning my brain trying to figure out how they were different during the show, and it led to me not being fully present at the concert itself.
I lost out being completely swept up in the music, present in the moment, merely observing and not judging, and I was poorer for it.
With that being said, it was an excellent show, an excellent facility, and I had a great time.
It was an adventure for sure, a success, all things considered, and I am looking forward to another road trip, no matter where I end up.