Curious George meet Harry the Hamster

Jun 19, 2010 by

Curious George meet Harry the Hamster

Hot and heavy on the heels of my Monkey Mind blog entry comes Harry. Harry is the hamster in all of us.  He’s cute and cuddly and loves to get on his wheel and spin, spin, spin.  Harry is a close relative of Curious George … our monkey mind.  Bet you didn’t know that monkey’s and hamsters were so closely related.

Harry is that creature in all of us who can’t get off the treadmill, can’t stop doing things to stay distracted, can’t stand still or change direction for fear of … well, fear of all the other hamsters screaming at him to get back on the wheel.  And Harry certainly can’t stop; because if he stops for one moment, maybe the silence will be too much to take.

And this is why Harry the Hamster is the closest relative to Curious George our monkey mind.  Because they both won’t let you stop for a moment to catch your breath and just be you.  Both Harry and George keep you distracted long enough for the present moment to slip your grasp and evaporate like so much gossamer.  George does it by making you dwell on the past or worry about the future, and Harry does it by physicalizing all your fears.  Geneen Roth’s book Women Food and God talks about Harry’s physicalization with food, but there are plenty of other ways to distract yourself.

I got a first-hand lesson in this today.  I thought I was past this, but I’m obviously not … damn.  Today I got a one week break from all the noise that I let myself get caught up in. Many of my responsibilities got up and left … took a holiday … brought in managers … and have left me alone. And what’s the first thing I did?  I started figuring out ways to keep Harry busy and myself distracted. So I might have a handle on George, but Harry, oh Harry’s running full steam ahead.

So I asked myself if I’ve got some time, some freedom, from all the noise, why can’t I be me; why can’t I do/manifest what I want to/need to, to be happy.  And that sentence hit me.  Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I don’t think I’m allowed to be happy.  And that sentence laid me out flat.  So is it whenever I get close to being free, being happy, Harry runs extra fast to keep me from doing that?  Oh boy, can you say existential crisis?

So here’s the question: “What do you do to keep yourself distracted?  Keep yourself from being happy?  Keep yourself in a nice self-imposed coma?” I’m sure we all do it.  Whether it’s George or Harry, we’ve all got ways to stay distracted and distanced.  So if you’re like me you need to find a way to keep both George and Harry quiet, if only for a second and then really ask yourself; “now that I’m alone, what’s it like to be free, to be happy.”

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *