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Your Tyrannical Twins

Fear and desire

Close-up of blue wooden garden gate with greenery beyond.
Fear and desire bar the way to the moment. Detail of gate at Evergreen.

I’m sitting in my Virginia Woolf writing room (A Room of One’s Own), trying to write a short article before I go to work.

But it’s not happening.


Because I’m fighting those tyrannical twins, Desire and Fear.

Magpies carol outside. A baby parrot squarks insistently. The wind comes up, a sign that the cooler day promised by the weather bureau is really going to happen. I recall how hot it was yesterday, then bring my mind back to the morning's task of writing a short article. I take a sip of chai tea that is no longer hot. Its spicy fragrance brings no inspiration. Rob lies in the massage chair in the next room. Its thumps, rumbles and shudderings drift through the closed door. My office chair squeaks as I spin distractedly in it, wishing the world would be quiet so I can concentrate.

I sit here, desiring to write an article, and fearing it won’t be written.

My mind switches between these two things: desire and fear.

Desire is my mind dwelling in the future. (I want a finished article on the screen.)

Fear is my mind dwelling in the past. (I recall other times when words failed to come, or if they did come, they merely made muddy marks.)

As the minutes tick by, I switch between the two. Desire. Fear. Desire. Fear. Desire.

I’m getting nowhere.

I stop spinning the chair and start typing. Not perfect words. Just words. About desire and fear. How I’m ruled by them. How I want to be free of their tyrannical twinship. Yet another desire, really. I desire to be free of fear. I fear I never will be.

As I keep typing, desire and fear fall from me. There’s no room for them in the room. No space for them in the space in my head. I’m engaged in what I’m doing. My mind is in this moment. More words come. I take a sip of tepid tea and smile.

I edit the article and press “save”. Print it off so Rob can run his keen eyes over it once the massage machine has completed its cycle. Drink the dregs of the definitely cold tea. Get out of my chair and get on with the day. One moment at a time. Without the claustrophobic mental clutter of those tyrannical twins — desire and fear.

Living With Mindfulness

Create space in your life.

Let go of fear and desire.

Just do.

Just be.

Just live.

One moment at a time.

With love, Marlane

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