Thursday, August 2, 2012

More Cool Boredom

This is a video in which not much happens - just two "natural enemies" hanging out. It epitomizes the kind of day I've been happy to have: cool boredom. I see I blogged about this last Tuesday.  So I suppose I don't have much conceptual to say.

I started my day - or did I end yesterday? - enjoying the smell of clary sage, which is supposed to be "balancing."  I doubt that that alone can cool a bipolar down in August, but what do I know?  It's a nice smell, unusual, hard to categorize, but a little piney.  Wikipedia says it "has a lengthy history as a medicinal herb, and is currently grown for its essential oil."  My oils are mostly Aura Cacia, which is sold in the sweet hippie-spiritual shop in our neighborhood called Pearls of Wisdom.  Descriptions of this herb's medical use go back to the 4th century BCE. 

Pearls is a great place to buy things like an endless-knot pendant or a votive candle holder carved out of rose quartz (which is believed to aid in kidney problems).  Quartz has a measurable vibration.  Just saying.  And I do have such a candle-holder, a gift from Tom one birthday.  He is a scientist, majored in physics, so he understands what a huge amount we don't know in this universe.  Don't Know is also a Zen concept, and that reminds me of a charming story I read recently in another blog, Wild Fox Zen.
Reminds me of a story James Ford told me which I see will be in his new book due out in September, If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes From A Zen Life.
Way back in the late ’60′s he was given zazen instructions at San Francisco Zen Center and then brought into the zendo to sit. Then …
“…I was ushered into an interview with a senior priest. Dainin Katagiri Roshi, then called by the title sensei, was on duty. I made the bows as I was instructed and sat awkwardly before him.
He asked how long I’d been sitting.
I estimated three, maybe five minutes.
He said, “Good. Keep that mind.’”
There is a point there that Zen students know - as we ripen in meditation practice, we develop what Joko Beck called "tricks" for amusing ourselves or evading aspects of our reality that are trying to catch up with us.  In Zen, we are reminded to approach not only meditation, but every moment, as if we'd never been there before, never done that before.*

Back to my day.  I sat over the Thursday NY Times with Tom - my favorite paper of the week.  I clucked over the follies in the Style section, and Tom told me about the craziness in the Home section.  Ate a good breakfast, cereal, walnuts (for Omega-3), dried cranberries and organic milk.  Did my stretches and meditated.  Did weekly pill box which took a long time, but that was okay.  No rush.  Air quality is bad today, and so are molds in the air, and I don't have to go anywhere, so I'm not.  I'd have to wear a surgical mask if I did; the immunosuppressants have made my allergies terrible.  Made tuna salad for lunch, with cucumbers cut up in it (they are cooling). Made tuna melts in the toaster-oven.

And so on.  That kind of day.  Not manic, not depressed, just a nice cool day appreciating our air-conditioned and filtered air, our shade, and especially, being retired.

* If I had never seen this computer screen before, I'd be flabbergasted.


  1. I don't know...your description of your day didn't sound boring at all! It sounded extremely soothing. I even loved the tuna sandwich details. I needed that virtual tuna sandwich.

  2. Actually, I loved it. Today, not so smooth.