Posted in Discovery Project: April

Day 20 & 21 of April: The Mindfulness of Rent

Yesterday was an exhausting day.  I think that my work is just at an exhausting phase where it is going to be a bit stressful all the time.  Apart from that, my husband are trying to sort out various pieces in our lives at the moment so we are feeling a bit exhausted anyway.  I still managed to walk through town centre on Friday.  Mostly because I am putting together a gift for a friend going through a hard time and walked through collecting a few bits and pieces for it. When I came home despite being tired, I still managed to do my mindfulness body scan meditation and cooked a dinner where that was the only thing I tried to focus on.  Bet you can’t guess how that went.

Today hasn’t been too different.  I walked to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy.  I met a friend for lunch before we headed off to the theatre for a matinee of Rent.  Now, I get that Rent is a sad story of the Bohemian artist community during the first outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, but when you look at it, in a way, they are practicing mindfulness to handle their situation.  A common theme throughout is ‘No day but today.’  For these characters, that is quite possibly the literal truth.  They live each day as if it is their last, because it may be.  There may be no day but today.  It’s the message that each mindfulness activity tries to ingrain.  There is no moment but the moment you are in.

Do I think Rent is a lesson in mindfulness, in a way yes.  It is a reminder that life can change in a blink of an eye.  Decisions we make may be minute or may intertwine our fate with a certain path, but this may not be clear to us until much later.  In away, living with a deadly disease forces this group of starving artists to live for today.  While that in many ways feels like it is only grazing the surface, I think that if we were really to look into the life of a real and similar group of people, we would see how living this way affects their lifestyle and their way of living.  It would be interesting to see the true effects, in one way, and horribly sad in another.  It is quite different than mindfulness because it is living with a weight around your neck so you live for now because you really don’t have a future but those of practicing mindfulness probably do have some future ahead of them.  The characters in Rent almost have an enforced mindfulness.  While those practicing mindfulness without the threat of death hanging over them may not spend every last cent they have every day, like one might be tempted to in the characters in Rent’s circumstances, there is an element of ‘life is short, buy the ice cream’ to it.  And today that is exactly what I did.  I bought the ice cream.

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