February 22, 2007

Mindfulness by Underwear

Now I know why guys wear heart monitors. The kind you see on an elastic strap around the chests of joggers, cyclists, and roller-bladers. What I don’t understand is why they don’t just settle for the elastic strap? That makes one immediately mindful of the pounding heart trying to burst out without any fancy electronic devices.

Today we are having interviews for summer internships. A dozen professionals from half a dozen firms have set up shop in the gallery. So today is a dress up day and part of dressing up is pulling my one and only real bra out from the back of my dresser drawer. The tight elastic binding around the chest, the sharp little straps that drag at the shoulders (and if you loosen them to the point where they don’t hurt, they constantly slide down your arms) and that horrible metal arcs which constantly threaten to fracture a rib if you breath too hard.

I am seriously convinced that the bra was a device by which to suppress women. I cannot carry through a coherent thought without being interrupted by the lack of oxygen to my brain. The implications of postmodernism in architecture – the role of ego in self regulation – the similarity of the expressions of spirituality in a Chinese pagoda and Gothic cathedral – forget about it! I am painfully aware of every breath I take, and not much else.

And isn’t that the point? On the plus side it keeps me from over-thinking myself into an anxious panic when I have to be calm and collected for my interviews today. Today I rode my bicycle up 14th Street, my heartbeat sending reverberations through the metal underwires, and was acutely aware of that present moment. I wasn’t wrapped up in planning what I was going to say in my interviews to the point of dangerous distraction.

Who knew underwear could be a meditation tool?

No comments: