September 17th was the second anniversary of 108 Zen Books and it closed with a quiet lowing of the transformed Ox. I think Ox was quite happy to have its story told – although I’m sure it was sometimes unhappy, as Ox tend to be, with my renderings of its transformation. 108 Enso was quite the challenge too. How hard could drawing a circle be! I told myself when I started. Well, it certainly was and yet every enso reflected the moment – unfiltered and transparent.
Thank you to all the faithful followers of the Ox and those of you who wrote back channel to share the pleasure you find in these convoluted missives on life, love, fallings, and failings.
But now. Onto other pressing matters in my to-do list. As you can see from the picture below, the art table has been conscripted for a more nefarious project. The time has come for Walrus and Carpenter to set to digesting the minutiae of the (drum roll) Chaplaincy Thesis. I hope to accomplish this without becoming a single case self-study of burnout – or would that be a non-self study? I’ve set aside a day a week to write but have realized that the writing is not the problem. It’s the “what-the-heck-do-I-write-and-how-the-heck-do-I-write-about-it” part that seems to be a sending my Ox-ish mind off into the reeds.
Interestingly, this will be a practice of beginner’s mind and not knowing. Having written a couple of these tomes before, I find myself caught in the arrogance of pre-knowledge. Don’t worry. It won’t be long before I’m reduced to a weeping, sopping mess, filled with humility and convinced of my inadequacies. Some of you may wish to start planning the celebrations for my ego downfall now.
That being said, I will have to limit, or better said, divert my love for 108 Zen Books over the next… Oh, let’s not start predicting and committing to relationships with time that can only bring us to misery. I will send up these electronic smoke signals but not as frequently as I have in the last 730 days (of which – excluding weekends – I’ve only missed 4 or 5 or something ridiculous given my inattentive nature). Perhaps you may even get a chance to vet some of my thesis thoughts so sharpen those slice and dice gadgets!
In the meantime, I offer you the moral lessons of Rabbit and Owl trying to decipher Christopher Robin’s budding writing skills when Rabbit delivers the note:
Owl breathes an enormous sigh of relief now that he actually knows what they are talking about, and explains to Rabbit that what has happened is that Christopher Robin has gone out with Backson. Rabbit asks what a Backson looks like, and Owl begins to explain about the Spotted or Herbaceous Backson, but then he realises that he doesn’t really know anything at all about the Spotted or Herbaceous Backson, and admits as much to Rabbit, who says thank you, and goes off to find Pooh. (from The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, p. 78)
Let’s hope this does not portend the fate of my thesis!
Thank you for practicing,