Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So Long And Thanks For The Fish

The scent of cilantro from the garden lingers on my hands as I type this. I can see 6 lovely little boats anchored off the small island to the north as I sit on the deck, ocean spread out in front of me like a wide screen TV. The air is like a tepid bath, a welcome note in this so far coolish summer.

Now you might think things were quite perfect here in lotus land but that would belie the fact that a small trail of Dukkha seems to be following me around. I won't go into details but it involves my usual dharma ornaments of late, housing and art.

The days have been filled with disruptions that seem to throw me off my game every morning. I have a plan, life intervenes and I never get to my plan. It's like some strange witches brew poured into the morning coffee. The fridge doesn't work and all the food in it is going bad. No one returns phone calls. And more that I won't mention. There is a feeling tone to it all that oozes anxiety and dissatisfaction. And in the trail of slightly off cue steps I find my expectations that things should work out smoothly, lying on the floor like a smothered cat. The little details should get taken care of in a timely manner, I expect that. Ah, expectations, the mother of disappointment. And the cloudy cataract that they cast over everything.

And as the week pulls itself forward, one set of strange twists and turns works out in our favour and then a surprising email arrives that seems like a rude little punch in the stomach. And then I get to watch all the old vulnerabilities come up, washed in tears. I can see the wounded ego. I can see that anger is just hurt, spewing fire. And in a strange way I know it's all okay. I trust that there is a bigger picture. I know that the person who has dealt my ego a big blow is confused and hurting. I have to remember not to lash out. Can I navigate the inevitable with grace?

And so the days go by filled with teaching. I see the opportunity to not go down the same old path. I breath in the hurt and just experience it. I know there is some reason somewhere for this chain of events that I don't quite understand. I remember to forge a new response weakening the old neural pathways the old habitual ones that are quick to feel not good enough, to indulge in despair. "wrong way" I hold up the sign on that neural pathway. Time to try a different off ramp.

And so I can say that life is strange, that adversity is really opportunity in wolves clothing. And while we are inclined to like the days where things work out seemingly in our favour I ask the question "who really knows what good or bad is?" I simply know what is.


  1. You are a wonderful teacher and writer as well as an amazing artist! Thank you so much for this post! And the Sutra waves are gorgeous!

    Marcus _/\_

  2. Such a delightful post - bringing me back to perspective! Thank you! :) As you know, I can relate! "I have a plan, and life intervenes..." Big grin here!

    I love your view too!

  3. How wonderful that you can be a person watching her 'small Dukkha trail' as you allow us to meander along with you nodding, nodding, watching the Buddhas bobbing gently on the surface of the water...nodding nodding.

  4. {I know there is some reason somewhere for this chain of events that I don't quite understand.}

    So powerful and such a gift for me at this moment, ZDS! My "wrong way" is to try and understand the chain of events that have brought me to this point. This point where my neural pathways are justifying re-engagement with what has been an abusive friendship needs to have the sign: Road Closed - even to local traffic!

  5. Your last paragraph says it all to me ending with this "I simply know what is". From my heart this is true wisdom...thank you.

  6. Yes, the ups and downs-- the small setbacks and steps forward-- the petty hurts and the support of family and friends-- every day is a new day and you have a lovely way of putting it all in perspective.

  7. oh my, this is a beautiful post... last night, talking to my husband about how i keep going down the same path, over and over. feeling like the old neural pathways are as strong as ever, even though it seems at times like all i do is try and create new ones. my life seems to be one long derailment these days, and i, foolishly, keep wanting to just stay on track instead of embracing the whole bumpy ride.

    thank you for writing this...


  8. hello
    the saying that goes something like this;'wherever you go, there you are', is so true...we are still the same person even though we may change our setting to a 'paradise'...
    what we have in the moment is really all there is...but we're always planning ahead...etc
    i can identify with this
    be well carole

  9. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

    "Sutra waves", thanks Marcus I like that!

    MeAnderi , I know that lots of life is intervening for you these days!

    Merci33, yes the Buddhas nodding, always encouraging us to keep on keeping on.

    Genju, yes I think it is hope that things will be different that keeps us from putting up the "road closed" sign.

    Lisa, Thanks!

    Blue Sky Dreaming, the heart does always know, even when the head doesn't.

    Layers, "every day is a new day" reminds me of a quote attributed to the Buddha that ends with "what we do today matters most"

    Lynne, I know this one, wanting to stay on the track, thinking this somehow will be nicer and easier. And Thanks for stopping by.

    Hello Dawne, yes I used to say what I need is a vacation from myself, now I try to see it as an opportunity to learn something. Hope all is well with you.