The synchronicity of my state of mind and my iPod shuffle

As I left today’s session with K. at Mount Sinai Hospital and reflexively slipped on my iPod’s headphones the pop playlist was well into the last half of “The Rose” by Bette Midler. From there it shuffled to “Lord Is It Mine?” by Supertramp and then Billy Joel’s “Honesty” before I arrived at Timothy’s to meet a friend for coffee.

Quite apart from the fact that there’s nothing on my iPod I did not put there myself the song selection seemed perfect in light of my feelings.

After reviewing a surreal experience yesterday with a financial advisor, during which said advisor seemed to inject all sorts of the ‘witnessing’ of a recent convert to Christian fundamentalism (I put him off by promising to speak with members of my pastoral staff), K. and I had been exploring some of the ways loneliness, or my more defensive ‘seeking solitude’, can manifest itself in me – and, consequently, lead to erratic spending.

One of the most powerful images that came to mind was the feeling that comes up as the train pulls out of the station on my way home from a trip to be with Mom. To a lesser extent this happens after a visit with my sister, brother-in-law and their family, too, who – because of their closer proximity – I have the opportunity to see more often than my brother or other sister.

While the feelings leaving Mom are etched with the realization that we never know when a visit will be our last – not that Mom’s death is imminent – common to both situations is the fact that I am returning home to my cat, Emma, and no one else. When I do get home, after Emma has given me proper hell for having left her, for up to a few days, I have often reacted in one of two ways – either I pull the blankets over my head figuratively, if not literally, for a day or two or I do something impulsive which, time and time again, I have learned that I will regret.

The power, in that moment, lies in my choices.

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