Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The koan of your life

I’ve always liked the opening to “I’ve grown accustomed to her face” in My Fair Lady. Rex Harrison put a wide range of feeling into the repetition of one word:
    Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!
Discovery, frustration, wonder, emphasis.  And in the next line, acceptance.  There it is - something has interfered with his life plan.

I know how that feels.  Just now a torn fingernail on my right thumb stopped my loftier purposes cold.  Unhappily, it tore into the nail bed a little and raised blood.  This is the arm that has had a dangerous skin infection called cellulitis (means “dangerous skin infection”) from just this sort of little injury.  To make a loooong story short, I did bring an antibiotic and two alcohol pads.  I recall standing at the linen closet drawer looking at a box of bandages and deciding not to take them.  Why not? I was taking everything else I owned, except lightweight socks and robe and a writing pad.

Here’s why Tom and I make such a good couple - he had a pocket First Aid kit.  I am creamed and bandaged without driving into town for drugstore supplies.  And as for my crazed packing, in a while I will stop at the van and dig out my emergency medications bag and take a Levaquin, for luck.  The rest of this healing is up to me, stay rested and unstressed, keep the hand clean and dry.

I digress, in a way, but in a way I don’t.  This little intrusion of the body’s imperative needs is also reality, is what we have to deal with constantly in our lives.  So this event is related on a deep level to what Ama Samy calls “the koan of your life.”  I’ve been sitting with mine - how to best use my gift [cautious word choice there] for writing.  As I thought about this during the morning’s early sits, I realized that not only do I have to choose what to work on - roughly, there is creating and finishing and getting the work out - I have a whole lazy life to deal with.  I need a schedule such as we have here, and three good meals a day, which I have to fix.  I run the domestic-aesthetic part of our home.

This year I am not resisting the schedule, at last, but experiencing the sense of freedom within not constantly making choices.  I had a lot to get over there, and maybe I needed years of indulging my creativity before I could fence it in a bit.  Before that there were decades in which my expectations and beliefs had me fenced in, unable to tap the creative well at all. You look back and say, Well, that was my path.  I have another path today - or no path in a way, just this openness.

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