Monday, June 4, 2012

One Tiny Ant

Yes, I know this is a cat but he is crawling

I am sitting in front of my computer on the third floor of the house where the walls are cozily slanted and the two shaded lamps close by are casting shadows behind me.  The windows are closed against an unseasonable chill and have been for weeks to keep out the bright yellow pine pollen which has blanketed everything in its path.  So why did a tiny ant walk across my thumb?

A different one walked over the back of my hand yesterday.  Maybe two - or was that on another day as well?  When I lifted the papers on the desk, nada - not an ant to be found.  Just one at a time, walking on the mountain ridges of my fingers.

Now the itchy phenomena begins.  I scrunch up my back against an imagined tickle along my spine and scratch my head above my ear which is momentarily sensitive to a pin prick of feeling.  I scratch my ankle but nothing is there.  Why is that?  Why am I squirming when nothing is really there?

We all do the ant dance from time to time.  Little prickles set off an avalanche of bothersome signals which claim our attention.  We imagine what someone is thinking about us when we pass in the hall or interpret a glance the wrong way and think we forgot to do something.  The pile of unread magazines grows and the folder which has two inches of torn-out recipes (and not one ever made) bother us. We squirm a little in our imaginings wondering what to do remedy the situation.

What we think and what is real can be as far apart as the ant and the itch. The itch is of our own making.  That person in the hall with the screwed up face was thinking about the meeting he was rushing to.  What is another recipe in the stash if it has possibilities?  It is all small stuff, minor annoyances which distract us for a time or, perhaps, gives us a moment of clarity where we see what is really there and what isn't...important.

Like the tiny dancing ant using the back of my hand as a stage.  All he wants is a little attention.