Friday, May 18, 2012

the itch

A mood of slight discontent is ideal for writing. Only in writing may the writer scratch his itch. Other people are not writers and they scratch their itch in other ways. Some drink, some exercise, some dance. It is a hallmark of existence That Itch, the itch we all share.  It is not necessarily a bad thing. It lets us know we are doing something wrong. Or maybe we aren’t doing anything wrong but still we itch for some reason. Regardless, everyone has an itch and all itches are itchy. That itchiness forces change. That’s the beauty of the itch. Take a good look at your itch. How does it feel? How did it arise? How do you scratch your itch?

I think a great many people scratch their itch by putting ointment on it and then ignoring it till it becomes itchy again. I don’t know if they know that the itch always comes back and that it becomes tiring scratching all the time, over and over. But then again, here I am writing about itches and itchiness and how dumb it is to put ointment on an itch yet I still put ointment on some of my itches and forget about them temporarily.

Now I hope you realize the Itch I am referring to is discontent. It is subtle suffering. It is unpleasantness. During the last few years I’ve been making a sincere effort to notice my discontent, my subtle suffering, and unpleasant moments. I’ve been trying to see what conditions lead to itching. Putting it simply, I’ve been trying to really understand my Itch.

And I’ve gained some understanding of the itch and the itchiness.

The only thing I can really say that itching doesn’t help. What helps is being with the itch. Pausing. Taking a moment to be with the itch and just letting it be. The itch always fades away eventually and I am always left standing. 

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