Meditation and chocolate

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At this time of year your minds may well be turning to things spiritual. So here’s an excerpt from a book we’re working on called Kindly Light, in which the guru Gandharva has given Eric Swan the mantra O Trident, wound and scrape to meditate on. This is doubly appropriate at Easter because Eric is fighting a chocolate addiction.

The trident meditation hadn’t gone well. His head was filled with images of a giant pitchfork, and then his mind went to potatoes and potato blight, and, God help him, to the Irish potato famine and his great grandmother who had loved her Guinness so much. He had wrenched his mind back from that, saying the mantra out loud over and over again

‘O Trident, wound and scrape’

but ‘wound and’ sounded like ‘Woon Dan’ and his head was filled with images of a Chinese man with a long pigtail and a check shirt like an American backwoodsman. Then he thought of Davey Crockett.

Things don’t get any better:

Eric’s meditation was getting worse as the days went by. Oh, it was a nightmare. His mind was like a cage full of butterflies. No, not butterflies, big horrible blowflies. He would go mad, he was quite sure. Pourgues would come home and find him a gibbering idiot.

Once again he dragged himself up at five o’clock and sat down to try again. No sooner had he internally intoned ‘O Trident, wound and scrape’ than plop, on his lap he felt the furry weight of a kitten and shouted involuntarily as her little claws dug deeply into his thigh. Vendetta danced away as he scrambled up, her eyes alight with the joy of the chase. A trip to the vet the day before to have her spayed hadn’t slowed her down one bit. There was a brief scramble around the room until Eric had her firmly clutched, her heart palpitating against his hand as he carried her to the door and put her outside. He could hear her scratching and squeaking as he trudged back to his cushion. His stomach gave a loud despairing gurgle, and immediately his mouth was full of the taste and sensation of a Cherry Ripe melting against his palate. He opened his mouth and panted loudly to dispel the taste hallucination, then gritted his teeth, shut his eyes and lowered his head. Scratch, scratch, scratch, squeak, squeak, squeak went Vendetta. The phone in the hallway rang and he heard the answer phone click on and a man’s voice saying something. For once in his life, he was glad it wasn’t Pourgues on the other end of the line. The hour dragged on. Once Vendetta had given up, there was a brief moment of total silence. He felt himself breathing deeply down to the pit of his stomach. He heard Gandharva’s voice saying, ‘So much love, Eric,’ and his eyes filled with tears. Oh, surely he didn’t have to do this. If only Pourgues would come back everything would be all right. No, no, he was fooling himself. Gandharva was right, he must be right. His mind went round and round in this tug of war until he heard the low ring of his timer. Wearily, he got to his feet. Time for his lentils.



6 thoughts on “Meditation and chocolate

  1. Of course I can’t help but think of the fondue scene in Writing is Easy. Lentils sound great to me–I eat what is affectionately known as the Tower of London Diet (not as in losing weight but in what is perceived as deprivation by other people.)

    1. It could well have been written by Gert. Eric does have a tendency to sob, but not for “the better, purer things in life” – more for his plumpness and his chocolate habit.

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