Note to self Friday: Reflect on the Uncomfortable. Not sure why. But I’ve been uncomfortable these past few minutes. As it happens I walked up Montgomery with the idea of executing a “walking photo tour” assignment I gave myself today, as a way to get back in touch, get grounded between projects. Guess I have lots of getting in touch to do as the walk is uncomfortable. Why? The discomfort seems to be from lack of psychic force: I’d done a presentation this morning, made cold calls, and confronted my marketing department in trying to solve a long-term problem in my brokerage work. The discomfort was partly from distrusting the psychic strain of all this would produce a good result, partly just from exhaustion. Empty, and without hope of being filled. Uncomfortable.
It’s cold in the City today, so I walked uphill until I got to the Ritz, then stood on the sunny sidewalk out front. Thought of going in but that would be more psychic strain. What if going into a place like the Ritz-Carleton is simply a use of psychic force, not about money? What if everything around me is about psychic force? This morning I arrived at work before 8AM and by the time my cube-next-door neighbor arrived I was nearly into my second hour. Oh the space in an empty office! He started talking up a storm, telling me about his grandfather who’d had a stroke years ago. Had to put up a virtual psychic shield to stay focused. What did it cost? Feels like I’ve burned through reserves and am now depleted. What recharges me?
Pushed through that psychic resistance and went inside the Ritz. Dressed in a stylish suit who’s to question me? There are others standing around the lobby on devices too. Within the outer perimeter it’s easier, so I don’t have to stay out with the grandmoms walking their grandchildren across the top of the hill. But there’s a different psychic challenge inside. The barrier is replaced by a demand. I don’t want a drink or a snack and don’t feel properly demanding, so the implicit demand of the space itself that I act like I belong steadily grows. Funny, if I were more rested I could handle loitering in the lobby longer sipping their lemon water. If I were more demanding of food, shelter, drink also long time in lobby. Too bad, I want to demand. With nothing to push for I’m soon back out on the street. The result of another layer of psychic defenses in that place? Yes. What is the agreement amongst people there? I could’ve taken out my laptop and worked at the bar or in the nearly empty restaurant beside it. Ordered something minor. A cup of tea. What pushed me out was feeling not quite in-sync with those around me. It was a pensive place, gray and empty except for these guests wandering around looking at their phones. It only now occurs that the guests with their sidelong glances, not the staff, are the enforcers of who belongs.
The place I went next had everyone working, good music, even a co-working use fee. Pushed out of the free Ritz-Carleton in favor of a place that charges by the hour. Plus I purchased coffee and a snack (having escaped from the dismal Ritz I was hungry again). Could’ve had coffee at the hotel, but that place is dead — if I’d been staying there I’d have gone upstairs for a nap. At the co-working cafe I slowly begin to gather my forces. I remember sitting at an open air cafe on September 11, 2001, in the warm sun, gathering force. How many hundreds of times, both notable and not, have I been reflecting at a cafe? Now I’m focused on recovering from the efforts of the day, sipping coffee, nibbling on the coconut pudding, letting the music wash over me. Let them charge me $2 an hour, it’s cheaper than paying for parking if I had brought a car…
Managed by psychic forces, I tend to feel discomfortably buffeted, as though by a rock in a river, a sudden turn in the rapids. A drop. A swirl. Don’t necessarily hit the rock, just feel queasy rushing past, changing direction, washing up to a high place (the Ritz) and back down to the co-working cafe. I could sit and look at roses all day, but don’t, I mean can’t. I’m embedded in a psychic milieu that permits me to do this and that, but not all. The best I can do is look at a photo I took with my new phone of some roses on a tabletop, glancing at it while I’m carried towards the next thing. It would be uncomfortable to stop. Would it even be possible?