Saturday, February 8, 2014

Day 27: Paryushana water fast of chakra insight and enlightenment....


Growing up my family prayed over meals.  We were the weird family seated in the non-smoking section corner booth at the old Avanti’s on Main Street and when the pizza arrived  everyone would clasp  their hands into a cocoon of knit fingers, hush the lids of our eyes closed like drapes, lower the cusp of our  chins into the direction of the table as if at a séance and (usually) dad,  would say grace, thanking our overtly Westernized variation of a bearded Deity for blessing us with this taxable sustenance we were about ready to consume. Usually one of us kids were embarrassed and would slant our head sideways  instead of closing our eyes and find something trivial on the floor to momentarily focus on until the prayer ended— much in the same way males  pretend that they are not looking down at the draining pipes of their own anatomy as they stand scissored legged in front of the communal urinal (troughs are the worst) at a baseball game.

Truth is my family kind of over did it on prayer.  We said grace over damn near everything. In the morning I remember my mother hunched in her lime housecoat reading her thoroughly highlighted bible huddled in front of the heating duct in the dining room. There was her bible in one hand and there was a shoebox from the 70’s she kept budgeting coupons in stationed at her feet.  We prayed before we left for school in the morning, my mom standing next to my sister (holding her cello up on the banks of snow) at the bus stop.  We tucked our heads and prayed for safety every time we left the port of Peoria, heading into the cement-ribbon of I-74, curling into the loop of I-55 and blasting into Chicago to see my mom’s side of the family commencing our voyage with a moment of prayer.

Growing up I remember my mother would come in and kneel down by the side of my bed every night. We would talk for five minutes. Sometimes we would pray but, almost always I would ask for my father to come into my bedroom. He would get down on one knee as if proposing to Jesus and we would pray, together, volleying back the stanza’s of ‘Now the light has gone away’ his peppermint breath and hirsute follicles of his beard tickling me childhood face into a pond of nocturnal embrace.

 Even today I still find it beautiful when  I see people praying over meals, especially in public. I was with a buddy of mine who is a big atheist and we were at a party where the host asked if he could prayer before was ate. Later my friend said he was offended that the host had the audacity to serve him food that was  publically consecrated. I lovingly told my atheist friend to shut the fuck up, reminding him that for thousands of years hunters, upon slaughtering their capture, would offer a wisp of inscrutable gratitude, thanking the creature for sacrificing his animalistic existence to cultivate the nourishment, ensuring the continuity of the executioners' psalm.    

It is day 27 and not much has changed.  I have gone 27 days w.out a beer (note: I still really want a fucking beer) and 27 days without the use of a tobacco product (note: a nice cigar dangling from my lips while I peruse the Modern Love testimonial column in the Sunday New York Times would really be nice right about now). In the last 27 days I have not consumed anything that has been previously plucked, pecked or mooed. I have not consumed any products that can be cracked open and scrambled or transitioned into an omelette or squeezed from an udder and seasonably curdled.


I have really grown to love my friend Valena’s cooking, especially her peanut butter rice noodle mixed with tofu splattered with crimson spurts of Sriracha. With the exception of three table spoons intermingled into the grainy heap, I have drank nothing but decaf, which (as I have previously posited) just plain blows.
On an ewe, gross tee-eem-eye scatological caliber I can’t understand why I’m rockin’ the porcelain throne defecating all the time. I drink nothin’ but juiced vegetables and green tea.

Still nothing has changed. Still I feel empty inside. I feel that I am wasting time from other literary endeavors.  I haven’t lost the weight I’ve wanted to. My beer belly still poaches above my torso like a tilted late-70’s egg-chair. I don' feel healthy or (hey, let's hurtle an ACT word in the narrative context) salubrious. I'm restless. I'm not sleeping.   I'm seminally depressed.


And I'm hungry as shit.


When I started Succulent Sobriety last May I wanted to see if I could go forty days w. out a beer. When I started SS 2 almost a month ago I wanted to see if I could grow.  I wanted to document the neurological ramifications of how my body would react if it was voluntarily deprived of certain synaptic inspiring creativity –inducing chemicals which society nine times out of ten deems as vices. I wanted to see what this corporeal cloth of epidermal I find myself momentarily cloaked in is capable of enduring. I wanted to jettison emotional manacles and jilted fear from the past (I still have more baggage in my chest than a luggage carousel at an international airport that I just can’t seem to discard.) I wanted to see if I could accumulate the courage  (without the aegis of alcohol, the flickering sedative lull of freshly inhaled tobacco,  the frenzied brusque of cup after cup of caffeinated ambrosia  or the reassuring fortitude of a cheese burger) to slough the threaded silhouette of the past  stuffing it into a vacant bottle of Tanqueray and christening it on the prow ship destined to sail into the promising port of a propitious t’morrow—a port that has eluded me all my life and which , (drunk) I was able to accept because when you are drunk and everything is right in the world you accept  shit and you smile, or least, in additional to feeling horny as shit,  that’s how I get when I drink-- accepting and horny. Accepting that everything sucks and I'm stuck in the area-code of this domestic iceberg, horny b/cause I lust after having a better life,  because I jerk-off to the possibility of the individual I have the potential to become in a way that is not vain or solipsistic in the slightest.
 In a way that is salubrious and life-affirming and giving.
Esp. in the frigidity of this arctic vacuum that is the frigid cold.


With the hopes of catapulting my creative growth while gauzing over the scabs of sorrow that continually hold me back I have decided that, over the next seven days, I will be participating in what I call Paryushana—a seven day water fast of metaphysical insight and evolutionary self-realization. In Jainism, perhaps the oldest religion on the planet, Paryushana is a Jainist holiday involving spiritual intensity, self-reflection and fasting. Over the next seven days I’ll be instituting my own inflection of Paryushana where I’ll be drinking (eating) nothing but a gallon of water a day. Before consuming the fluid I will meditate over the gallon of water for an hour, each day with an emphasis on a different chakra.


There are seven common chakras, so, seven day water fast where, hopefully, both my toxins and the emotional silt of the past shall be readily egressed and flushed out of the bin of my system.

Yes, it’s probably dangerous and yes (for all you fucking yuppies out there who can’t wipe your ass without a checkup) I should probably consult with a medical physician first, but my philosophy is that I’m willing to die for my writing and if more writers are willing to  die for their craft I’d have less literary friends and fellow authorial cohorts successfully committing suicide every year, choosing to execute their demons by punctuate the narrative sip of their own existence, rather than decimate their demons on the blood of the page.


I’m not New Agey. I’m not into crystals or saving the whales and honestly have only a cursory interest in chakras at best.  I would much prefer to  meditate over a bucket of beer with my limbs configured in an interrogatory  human question mark over the lip inside the local neighborhood tap than meditate over wafts of incense with my limbs gridlocked and pretzeled into various hard to pronounce tantric positions. I sporadically go to church with my mom and have a tendency to break into Lutheran hymns when I’m drunk (especially Now thank we all our god), but I wouldn’t classify myself as having any sort of religious affiliation.   As for “channeling chakra energy into the water,”  I find that no different from my family-bloodlines fetish towards prayer. So much of life happens in environment. While re-reading the story of the LindWurm I found myself commiserating with the noisome blob, the shapeless mass, disgusting, overweight, exiled from the castle he so longs for at a young age, unable to metaphorically ‘marry’ himself to a career, to a romantic partner,  to a life where he isn’t worn out all the time, slogging from paycheck to paycheck,  to sewing himself to the  thread of his dreams with gossamer needle and linguistic font. 

It is interesting to note that the LindWurm 'chums' his tail seven times--once for each of the central is like he is endeavoring to unzip himself in yelps in order to heal.

Sometimes you have to unzip your own body in screams and yelp to find out what is inside of you.

Sometimes you have to give up something you love to find yourself and to grow.

And in order to grow you need to be hungry, first.

How hungry are you?  



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