Stuart's Diary

Terrible dreams last night. I was awake at four with a bit of a fever, knew I wasn’t getting back to sleep. Came downstairs to the couch so I wouldn’t wake anyone. Then proceeded to have lots of unpleasant thoughts about one’s world crumbling away in every direction. Tried lots of Buddhist breathing, but it just wasn’t happening for me.

I must have got back to sleep at some point, but I dreamt about a gig. It was a solo show I was to play. How someone managed to convince me to play a solo show, I don’t know, but that’s dreams for you.

It was in a large outdoor auditorium. In the build up to it, there was hardly anyone there. Even the missus, usually a blind optimist, was asking
“Where IS everyone?”

I had a set list written down. It wasn’t the usual case in dreams where you can’t remember how to play any songs: I didn’t even recognise any of the titles on the list! Maybe they were future songs, but I still couldn’t play them.

I spent a long, long time trying to get my underpants on. Or was I trying to get them off? Either way, by the time I came out to reluctantly begin the performance, there were only 4 people left! Plus, two bouncers sitting on the stage. I began running out into the street trying to get people back, but they were like disinterested sheep by this time, and wouldn’t be herded.

Finally, Bowie came in and took over. He entered stage left, and began by taking off three goose-filled puffy coats, one after the other. He was all quiff, tan and teeth at this point, grinning like a maniac. He really scared the three kids who sat in the front row.

I know you guys are a bit older now, so I assume that some of you have that experience of feeling that your world is crumbling away. Maybe you have it quite a lot. Maybe you had it when you were younger.

I did in fact go to a Buddhist class last night. The session was called “Winter Outside, Summer Inside.” I thought, that’s for me, and went in.

These classes have, for me, over the last two years, become wonderful pockets of hope. Real and practical rocks, upon which it’s possible to claw yourself up, out of the sea of self-doubt and misguided desire.

It didn’t work last night. With the fever coming on, and other distractions, I just couldn’t stick it, and had to excuse myself and leave.

Before I did though, the teacher acknowledged that there was no avoiding the pain that we find ourselves in, and that we were there partly to take steps to leave that pain behind, so that things were not only better for ourselves, but for the people round about us.

At least I got that bit before I returned to the damp street.

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