I am in my semi-annual organizing mode -There is not a petal of a flower or a blade of grass that does not configure the Way.Ts'ai-ken tan
- separating Things to Do from the filing in the heap on my desk
- in fact, clearing my desk of everything that is not about a working desk; moving the family pictures to another location.
- actually doing the most important Things to Do
This morning I packed all the recycle into the van to go up to the collection boxes: paper, plastic. Too much of both! I am reading No Impact Man, which has made me aware of every Kleenex I use doing this dusty work. Paper tissues = trees cut down. All this paper! Do we really have to subscribe to the NY Times? And the local paper, weekends. Paper.
In that same corner of the garage, I gathered all the rags to go downstairs and be laundered. We don't check our own oil - what are they doing here? I don't even use rags to clean, preferring my microfiber dust cloth. No Impact Man used rags instead of tissues and paper towels. Sounds like trouble. Changing habits always seems hard - the old habit fights your intention.
In the basement, folding clothes, I noted that the laundry room is not designed to be the place you store dirty clothes and linens until the next time you need them. What a bunch of bad habits we have. I intend to wash all that laundry. Catch up. And then to form a new habit.
Heavens, what leads to all this? Maybe the weather. We are just at that fresh return of autumn, sky a beautiful French blue (I wonder how to make that blue in watercolor), humidity low, welcome breeze. And it is new moon, the time I usually feel best, calm and organized. And it is, thank God, no longer August, the month of decaying summer yang. This is as good as spring, but crisper.
Now I am worn out, and have sat down to read over Robert Aitken's essays on Zen ethics. I had printed out and stuck in the book his 2000 talk "40 Years of the Diamond Sangha." I remember loving that, so I read it again. He decided not to use the occasion to go over "sectarian considerations," (all we've accomplished, bla bla) but goes right to the point: maintaining awareness of the minutely subtle. The ephemereal is what's real.
[image: Miraculous Zinnia]