|Commissioned piece in progress (waiting for Buddha words)|
I have a whole lot of things swirling around in my Dharma brain these days. Some totally unrelated events and thoughts have been funneling themselves into a single decanter, waiting for the particulate to settle.
So here's the list of ingredients that have been spilling into the decanter. Ingredient # 1. My friend Thelma died, somewhat suddenly causing me to fall into a rather groundless place. I realized in a very real way, that anything can happen at anytime, to anyone (read: that means me!). Mostly we forget this and not without motive. The motive of course is comfort. And it reminded me that although time is a human construct (in an absolute kind of way) in a relative way, the clock is always ticking. So questions starting asking themselves at the oddest times. What do I want to do with my time, really ? Is it important to pull one more weed, "Miss-like-it-neat- and tidy"? Is my house too big? Are my aspirations too small? Koans, all of them.
But I am uncomfortable in this groundless place. I have a hard time settling into free fall. I am not much of a dare devil. You're more likely to find me clawing for the roots sticking out of the cliff wall after I've been chased over the edge by a tiger, rather than enjoying the strawberry I just picked. So of course after a few days of this space travel, I got quite grumpy. And then I was in a double bind. I had this grumpiness to keep me company as I hurtled through groundless space, trying to shake it off. Can you hear it now, the squawk of the grumpy bird spinning around as falls from it's nest? Cover your cute little ears, it's not a pretty sound! Where's my blankey and my hemp milk latte? (Thelma used to say, "there are a thousand ways to suck your thumb! These are a couple of mine.)
|you can see the texture here!|
And as I listened to my latest Dharma Darling, Nina Wise, one evening, she talked about meeting Carlos Castaneda. In their conversation he said something like, "most people sit in the caboose looking back down the track and imagining their future from there. Me," he said, "I'm sitting in the engine looking out and I have no idea what's going to happen." Something about this struck me deeply, the bravery, the exhilarating quality, the truth of it. It reminded me that I want to sit up front and look out into the unknown but mostly, when I am pushed up front I have the blankey pulled up over my head and am peering out with one eye (and of course spilling my latte all over myself). But there it is my aspiration, to ride up front with Carlos.
And the next ingredient that got tossed into the decanter was a post by my friend Lynette, over at 108 Zen Books. Her post was about our reactions to adversity and of course that resonated in terms of Thelma's death, but her post also addressed an important issue which was "there are some things we can never know". Yep, back to "we are always wading into the great ocean of the unknown". It's like the old question we all ask at some point in our human life, like when the 14 yr old next door gets leukemia and dies, "why do bad things happen to good people, to innocent people?" And that begs a lot of questions, such as "what is bad?" But her post reminded me that to really feel the breeze touch our faces we must be willing to stand in the wind of the unknown. And well, I didn't really want to answer how I handled adversity. I suspected the answer "just muddling along" wasn't the one in the Coles notes version of the Dharma.
And the final ingredient appeared as we did our primordial qi gong today in the last class of the Spring session. It somehow came to me, that I don't need to push away the thoughts that scare me. I don't need to say that's impossible to the things that seem impossible. I don't need to say anything. All the mind chatter is just stories from the back of the caboose. It is my intention to sit in the engine and look out front and embrace the scenery that's coming up in front of me. Want to keep me company? I promise not to spill my latte on you.