Go into kitchen, a long discussion of whether to buy an extended warranty on the new TV. Tom has researched the consumer experience with this thing. We do an informal risk/benefit analysis and decide not to. At one time we would have been reactive and contentious about it, him always wanting insurance, me always arguing risk. It's good to get old with someone and get past those things.
While we talk I am knitting - finishing a Christmas present, in fact. I reaffirm the research that says there's no such thing as multi-tasking, that you can only think about one thing at a time. In this case, it is the knitting that suffers. However, I am used to that, and the beautiful textured yarn hides mistakes. There's a metaphor for you.
Tom is doing his initial scan of the New York Times. He tells me about the history of Haiti. Founded by escaped slaves, a French colony. All the trees cut down for hardwood by the French. We comment on how the French saw Haiti as some other world, took what they wanted with no imagination that it affected the planet they lived on. Utterly dualistic thinking: Us/them. Avatar.
I read aloud a bit about grasping and clinging from my current book, Zen Miracles. Brenda Shoshanna, who is a psychologist as well as a long-time Zen practitioner, invents major exercises. She isn't kidding. Here's the one I want to do next, which is titled "What We Cling To:"
Make a list of those things in your life you are greatly attached to. Stop and look it over, see what purpose they serve for you. What would happen if you let go of one of them? Each day this week, let go of one, just for the day. See how it feels. You may be surprised.I'm going to meditate before I start it. It is 10:45, a good time of day for me to meditate or do other mental work. Some stretching first, adapted from yoga. Just remembered - health club today. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. We're trying to set a schedule. Should put it on the kitchen calendar.
Meditate. I am learning to count each breath mentally at the bottom of the exhale. Aitken recommends counting as a way to “tidy your desk.” Don’t evaluate your meditation Daniel once told me, so I won’t.
11:32. Go through box of things to do and pull out two fun things, a coupon from Banyan Botanicals and a free subscription to Bon Appetit, which I got for being foolish enough to buy their big cookbook about easy fresh food. Easy, ha. Still, I like getting a magazine like that, and sometimes it inspires me. I pass through some thought traps, as there are other To-do’s in that box. But I remind myself I am taking the morning off.
12:03. Time to get dressed and go to health club. Do a Shud. Will have to proof and post this later.
The freezing rain never developed. We are supposed to get the January thaw this weekend, temperatures up near 50, and sunshine. That always feels like a blessing.