Lit Blog #2
Peace of mind is something that may be difficult to attain but can be the greatest relief in life. Through my service-learning event of meditation, I got to experience what it was to clear the mind of all thoughts and focus on pure relaxation. It was an experience that I believe can be incorporated into everyday situations that bring about stress and anxiousness. In the poem “I Wandered as a Lonely Cloud”, I found that connection of what it was to be at peace through the daffodils within the short stanzas. On the contrary, the short stories, “The Birthmark” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” show what a life without that peace of mind is like. The characters within these stories allow a certain negative element in their life to be the very cause of their self-destruction. The values of meditation incorporated into any life can be an essential positive act.
To fully immerse oneself in a state of meditation it is important to focus on relaxation and clear the mind of all overwhelming thoughts. I learned how to not focus on such negative aspects in life and how to free myself from the events that hold me back. Just by sitting with the instructor among other students I felt that I was connecting with everyone in the room and together, we were throwing away our bad energy from the day. It was a rewarding experience and I will now use meditation as a resolution to many of my problems. Having a positive outlet in life is important in maintaining stability and happiness. In the poem “I Wandered as a Lonely Child” by William Wordsworth, the speaker expresses his own outlet to peace and happiness that he finds through the daffodils. The speaker explains that the sight of daffodils swaying in the wind is enough to bring happiness to any poet. Just watching the dancing of the flowers completely takes over any other scenery as the motion of the grand waves. Whenever the speaker seems to feel alone he quickly resorts to these daffodils and has an immediate smile on his face. It is amazing to think that a thought so simple as a type of flower can make one feel so complete. This feeling is similar to how I felt within meditation. I believe that the daffodils in this poem could metaphorically represent myself and the others who sat in the room meditating. Sitting in silence in a room strangely allowed me to feel connected and free with everyone else because we were all searching for a peace; as the daffodils flow together in the wind they are also a symbol of peace. I noticed this connection in many of the things I read and learn about but I also notice when it is lacking. There are moments in which this harmony is not present and therefore is the reason for dysfunction.
Many times it is common to become too consumed with the negative things in life. One may become so overwhelmed and obsessed with these negatives that they allow it to destroy themselves. The short story “The Birthmark”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne is an example of how obsessing over what makes us unhappy in life can make us miserable. The character named Aylmer continues to obsess over his wife Georgiana’s hand shaped birthmark that lays rosy red upon her cheek. He tries to hide his disgust but cannot seem to let the unsightly appearance of the mark go. It became so extreme that Georgiana herself was willing to put her life at risk to have it removed. Aylmer, being a former scientist, knew this procedure would be dangerous but put his selfish desires first and went through with removing his wife’s mark. In the end Aylmer lost his wife because he was too focused on something so insignificant. Had he not let such a thing bother him so, he would have had the perfect wife right before his eyes. This is also similar to the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gildman, where the narrator becomes so focused on the yellow wallpaper that she loses her mind. This character is monitored daily due to her illness and is treated as a prisoner in her own home. She has nothing better to do with her time then find strange things that are hidden within the walls of her house. She cannot clear her mind and will make such a spectacle out of things that are just a figment of her own imagination. Her husband pushes her to follow his plan to become healthy however it only progresses in making her illness worse. She becomes the prisoner that she sees right there in her wallpaper and is trapped in expressing herself. She does not fully become free until she goes completely insane. Had she had proper treatment and the freedom she always needed, she may not have gone insane. In both of these stories it is evident that there could have been more positive endings with the use of meditation. Both characters may not have had such a tragic ending if they focused on being free of troubles in their life.
I did not realize how much my service event of meditation has truly affected my life. I see now how helpful it may be in situations and that if used it could completely change someone’s life. Through the readings I was able to understand this concept of a free mind and how important it is to some people.