DAYS 108-113: Within the 14th Minute of Gazing

ducks crossing
Brian Hogan

I just finished reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert,which I found to be an incredible story, told with emotion, humor, and whit. Because the sun-gazing protocol I am following consists of three distinct phases I have been drawing an analogy between the three sections of her book and the three phases of gazing that I am undertaking. She took a journey through three countries, eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia. I am currently finishing the first phase of gazing and I realize it has been my “Eat” phase. Phase one is the first three months and mainly yields emotional and mental healing. This has been true but as it turns out I have also had an insatiable appetite for all things junk food related, and while home here at my sister’s I have completely reawakened my love for Oreo’s. In a moment of self-doubt I wonder who wants to read about sun-gazing from a fat slob who can’t seem to get his Oreo addiction under control? I wish that were a euphemism for something else, something harder and more cosmopolitan, like booze or quaaludes, but with all these new limited edition flavors coming out it is actually the Oreo that I can’t get enough of. The ever evolving chameleon snack that becomes just the right amount of sugar and soggy when dipped in milk that even the gross flavors end up tasting good. I swear, when coated with milk, they all taste a little different but the exact same amount of good. I gave away a bag of Limeade Oreos last week by surreptitiously tossing them in my sister’s neighbor’s mailbox, because they were gross and I knew I’d eat them anyway if they stayed in the house. Limeade Oreos, disgusting, right? And they were, actually, a terribly disconcerting shock of a cookie. But I had milk in the fridge so that didn’t stop me from digging the cookies back out of the mailbox, downing an entire row (read: 12 cookies) and stuffing them back in the mailbox before anyone was the wiser. My name is Brian and I am a Oreo-aholic. 

Hello Brian. 

I know it’s a serious problem because all the signs of a true addiction are present. I don’t care if it’s the good shit (a golden birthday cake Oreo or a marshmallow crispy Oreo) or whether it’s been totally stepped on and cut with foot powder (watermelon Oreo or raspberry sherbet Oreo). I kept telling everyone I didn’t have a problem. I’m on vacation at my sister’s house so things would come out of my mouth  like “I’m on vacation, its just this one time.” But when you say it’s just this one time every night around 8:30, which one time are you talking about, exactly? The time when you ate so many of the classic Oreo that your shit turned dark black for days, or the time when you puked golden Oreo back into your highball glass that was already running dangerously low on the milk chaser, only to be overly full but still burst into tears when you couldn’t eat the last few Oreos with milk; yet you still managed to stuff them in your face like a champion? I’ll also say “I never do this back at home,” which happens to be true but it’s because I don’t buy them for myself because if I do I know the whole package won’t be around for more than one day, and only that long if it’s lucky and depending if I remembered to get milk. I lack self-control. This leads me to declare the ridiculous “I’m only eating them because they’re here,” to which both Craig and Cheryl reply with an incredulous look that says “but you’ve been doing all the grocery shopping since you’ve been here.” Oh shut up, will you? 

As my pants tightened around me so too the noose of addiction strangled my will. When the Oreo’s run out or aren’t around I’m thinking about the next time I’m going to get to have Oreos. So I google searched them. This was a big mistake because I discovered so many flavors that I had totally missed, some of which sound awwwwwwwwwwesome. There is the Neapolitan Oreo, the Strawberry Milkshake Oreo and for special holidays they roll out the Gingerbread Oreo or the Candy Corn Oreo. I want that Candy Corn Oreo so badly I can almost taste it. But only almost, which is why October can’t come soon enough. 

The second phase of my journey, which begins today and ends around the time the Candy Corn Oreo will be back on the market is, decidedly, the “pray” phase of my sun-gazing journey. Phase 2 of gazing is said to yield mostly physical results, like bodily healing and diminishment of painful symptoms or diseases altogether. I am expecting the sun to free me of the limitations of my asthma and restore my weak gums (even though I’ve been pounding them with Oreo sugar). Like Gilbert, who used her “Pray” phase to learn devotion I will meditate in nature and at the parks more, lean on trees, reconnect to the ground through “earthing” (more on that later) and truly make phase two a devotion to my physical healing. I don’t exactly think the sun needs my help to heal me, this is a magic technology after all. But I want to show the universe that I’m serious and as my Drunk Angel from a few months ago admonished that “I’m in this thing all the way.” I have been indulgent in my “eat” phase, before I even realized that’s what I was in, or that because of Gilbert’s book, that I would be calling it that. And as I move, figuratively from the excess of my “Italy” to the calm of my “India” I will be trading in my indulgence for devotion over these next three months or so. As Gilbert says in her book “I want God to dance in my bloodstream the way sunlight amuses itself on water.”

SIDE EFFECTS: As you begin to heal mentally and emotionally you start to see your “issues” more clearly, and I don’t like seeing my issues. And if they get cleared up too quickly you may never get to taste a Candy Corn flavored Oreo. 

BENEFITS: When you are aware of your issues they lose their hold on you, and that is what they call healing. 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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