I’ve been trying desperately to get to the part of the computer that deals with blogging. However, the realities of running a business that is teetering on the edge of change yet again and a cat with a bandage around its neck – who, by the end of the day, looks like Jacob Marley in the Christmas Carol – have got the better of my time.
Change can be fun. I enjoy re-inventing myself every five years or so and it’s a year early but what the heck. Of course, re-inventing myself means letting go and we all know how great I am at that! Before the re-tooling however I’m taking time to notice that all this started with a surge of connections in my professional and spiritual community. Good thing. The drought has been going for a while.
Building sangha is tough, spiritual or professional, and when the two overlap, it’s even tougher. Sitting one morning, I had the sticky thought, “It’s apples and oranges. You can’t mix them – even in fruit salad, it’s still bits of apples and oranges.” So for this week, this has been my practice: honouring the appleness and orangeness of my communities, even as a mix.
Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend too. All these threads weaving together. So let me say I am so grateful for all of you. By your presence, you have supported this little space. I’m particularly grateful for my dharma pal, Maia Duerr, author of the awesome Jizo Chronicles and Upaya Zen Center Chaplaincy Director. Maia has a way of bringing me into just what is needed in this moment. Last week, she invited me to write a piece for TJC on the Saffron Revolution, the monks’ protest in Burma in September 2007. You can read the post on today’s Jizo Chronicles. Writing it really brought home for me that sometimes it’s not about the apples or the oranges.
What can we make of that?
I ‘spose you could put the apples and oranges into a blender. Maybe add some blueberries and yogurt and turn everything into a nice, homogenized smoothie!
Of course, something in us likes the crunchy bits…
Why am I not thrilled about this? 😀
Abu Graib, bodies of American soldiers hanging from a bridge, the monks of Burma, Neda of Iran’s Green Revolution, pelicans in oil – among the millions of possible images of suffering in the world these are the emblazoned ones, from the front page to facebook, that stand out after 9/11. Grey, orange, green and back to grey – does it matter that we noticed saffron, a throng that shares a robe, a saffron revolution? Yes. It was as brilliant a media event as flying into the trade towers, offering this one single field of bright and vivid color.
Yes, indeed. And after the flash is gone we’re still left with the everyday suffering. I love the lines in Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese:
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
As we do…
Nice to read you again,Seigen.