Wednesday, February 13, 2013
This week when I read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", John Ciardi's "Suburban", and Thomas Lynch's "Liberty", I instantly thought about the deep thoughts that are provoked in Zen meditation sessions. In each of these works, a thought is presented and acted upon, which related to the deep thoughts that come about when one is meditating. When I am meditating in these sessions, many thoughts float in and out of my mind… some that I act upon later and some that I do not. All of these works focused on different thoughts that were acted upon.
In Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", Montresor murders Fortunato because of an unspecified insult. There must have been much thought that went into this murder, considering the fact that Montresor had to be able to know exactly how to entice and bait Fortunato into the niche, where he would then entomb him alive. I know that during my meditation sessions, sometimes I tend to think about my plans for the rest of the day and how I should go about doing them, which then prompts me to sort out everything in my mind and figure out what plan for the rest of the day would be most productive. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think about how I could trick someone into getting them to where I want to murder them, but this kind of thought process that I experience is the kind of process that Montresor must have gone through when he was planning to bait Fortunato.
"Suburban", a work by John Ciardi, is a humorous piece that kind of pokes fun at suburban living. In the poem, Ciardi holds back on saying something after a thought popped into his mind after receiving a somewhat ridiculous phone call. I know that throughout the course of my day there are some things that are overheard or even sometimes I am directly in a situation and I voice my opinion, whether it be positive or not. Sometimes, though, I do bit my tongue and think things before I say them. During my meditation, I am able to kind of look back on the week's events and reflect on the thoughts that I did voice, and the thoughts that I didn't. Often times I feel like I should keep my thoughts to myself, but sometimes I just have that impulse where I have to act on them.
In Lynch's "Liberty", such a strange activity is carried out because of the thought/idea of liberty and freedom: "Some nights I go out and piss on the front lawn/ as a form of freedom- liberty from/porcelain and plumbing and the Great Beyond/ beyond the toilet and the sewage works" (Lynch 538). This is an act that can kind of be seen as defiance towards society yet it does give a sense of freedom. This poem reminded me of the saying "YOLO (you only live once)" which is used pretty often today. I tend to take life really seriously and stress over really trivial things so during my meditation I am able to relax and feel that sense of freedom from the pressures of society.
After completing my third Zen meditation session and then coming back to my dorm to read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", John Ciardi's "Suburban", and Thomas Lynch's "Liberty", it was nice to be able to draw such a strong connection between the works and my personal experience. It was interesting to see how meditation can provoke so much thought and then all of these pieces that are all about acting upon your thoughts.