‘ve recently started meditating in the mornings. I find that it calms my ADHD-powered rocket-brain and helps me get an even-keeled start on the day. It’s just simple mindfulness meditation—nothing too exotic or sexy – although I will admit to burning incense and turning on the red and black lights in the Rock and Roll Room to create a space different from The Everyday World. I’ve found that sometimes while I’m meditating—usually about twenty minutes in, if it happens at all—I get some rather odd, but peaceful, sensations floating around inside my head.
So this morning I was doing my thing, perched cross-legged on two stacked pillows, wrists resting on my knees, a black light dazzling the Jimi Hendrix poster hung on the wall behind me (no, I’m not joking), when I sort of felt my brain start to hum. Just thrumming away in its little bone-lined suitcase. I imagined (at least I assume I was imagining) blue threads of energy arcing around and twisting through it. And then this thought arose, unbidden, all on its own and apropos of nothing: one day the little spark that makes me a unique living thing is going to go out.
There’s nothing I can do about this. It’s going to happen. But then what happens? I’m not talking about in a spiritual sense, but rather in the physical sense – atoms and molecules and quarks and stuff.
So I sat and I pondered and I smelled the incense (Lotus, World Market) and wondered: what would I like to become of my little collection of atoms when I was no longer able to move them around the house or take them to Paris or pleasure them with delicious, peaty scotch? Sure, I thought, I could have myself pumped full of goo and stuffed into an expensive box lined with the plushest velvet and buried in the ground with my guitar, but what fun – and what benefit – is that? Stuffed in a box and buried in a hole? That’s like going to a dance and standing in the corner. What’s the point?
I considered my options. I decided I didn’t want to go the Edward Abbey route. (As I recall, Edward Abbey wanted his mortal remains left in the desert where they would be consumed by vultures. Circle of life, yes, and not much of a carbon footprint, but a bit macabre. And I didn’t like the visual of vultures eating my eyeballs.) Then I thought “I could be buried without a box. My atoms would just return to the soil and become baby worms and dirt and nutrients.” But then I considered myself dissolving and seeping into the groundwater and, well, no. Then I remembered something I read about having your body buried with a sapling. I’d become a tree! Now this was an idea I could get behind. But what kind of tree? I immediately thought of a soaring redwood, or a sequoia as big around as ten people holding hands. But neither of those are really my style. Grand and monumental indeed, but they’re not me. I gave it some thought and decided I’d rather give people something sweet and delicious that they can enjoy over and over, and that led me to my answer.
I want to become an apple tree.
I like Fuji apples, so that variety of tree would be fine. And Galas are nice too. Or Calville blancs. Calville blancs are green and kind of lumpy. They’re not pretty, but they’re the best for making a tarte tatin. And I imagine it would be quite lovely to be baked into a tarte tatin. And I’d smell good cooling in the window too.