January 22 Meditation (Grace Bruxner)

January 22 Meditation (Grace Bruxner)

January 22 Meditation (Grace Bruxner)

I don’t write a lot of Facebook statuses, so my Facebook Memories are mostly full of pictures of baked goods of yore. But every now and then I’ll get a glimpse of my younger self talking to people I haven’t seen in years, or being deliberately obscure. The other day, I saw a status from my university days in which I was informing everyone that the system for scheduling seminars had gone live, presumably so that I could try to ensure that my classes were populated with people I liked.

Grace Bruxner’s Meditation is basically about that.

You, as Grace, awaken in a bright and colourful bedroom. A picture of a cheerful frog hangs above the bed. The sun smiles in at the window. A digital clock ticks away. 08:00:00 approaches. And when it does, you go to your laptop, already open to a calendar. The screen goes black to the sound of frantic clicking. When the room reappears, Grace is dancing, happy, successful in her scheduling choices.

I studied philosophy (with psychology) at university, which was supposed to involve a lot of reading in your own time and meant that time spent in actual classes was very low. One term I had something like 3.5 hours of contact time a week, and three days with no classes at all. But I always had other activities to think about, and in the final term of my final year I got a part-time job, so I can relate to Grace’s determination to get to her computer in time to make her schedule work for her.

I played this through twice, to see if Grace would fail if I stubbornly made her stare out of the window until the clock struck eight instead, but it always has the same result. Originally, I was going to say that I might have preferred an injection of added stress via some kind of challenge to overcome in order to reach the laptop in time, but on reflection I like it just the way it is. I like how the clock grows and becomes more prominent as the time approaches, and the familiar feeling of tension but somehow also boredom that comes from waiting for long seconds to pass.

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