|Oh, did I wrinkle your paper?|
1. Life is generally unsatisfactory and sometimes damn hard.
2. The reason we suffer is that we don't accept reality; we desire things to be different.
I'll stop there, because my little story today is about that second truth - desire.
We often think of desire as being about strong cravings for big things, like having a certain person love you, but it can be all over the place in our lives, hiding behind the curtains, you might say. That's where one popped out at me the other day.
I was lunching with a friend and our talk wound down a familiar pathway about how we just can't catch up and get things done and get everything organized and nice. Yes. For quite a few years now we've been having that talk, which I think consoles us a little, as in "misery loves company," and if anything, we're both worse now than ever. Or let's say, there are more messes around our houses than ever. I mean, we've had many years to build them, and some good excuses.
I suddenly had a small realization: the problem isn't that we're messy; the problem is that we don't want to be messy. See what I mean? We desire our houses to be neat, clean, and organized. We don't want to create messes all through the day, throwing unopened mail on the table, throwing dirty clothes on the floor, not hanging our coats up.
Now, I can only speak for myself, obviously, and it's myself I'm describing, not Gini. I have more messy piles in my house, drawers, and closets than I can count. And that is the kind of cat I am.
That was a saying I attributed to Sherlock. In the way of male cats, he was utterly unapologetic about his behavior. Knocking over the African violets? He didn't care. If you asked him, "Why did you do that?" his answer was delivered silently, with a look - That's the kind of cat I am. Then back to washing his shoulder. He was what he was, and in the fashion of all cats, he had no desire to please anyone else, or to change. Cat lovers cherish this fact, which perhaps mystifies dog lovers.
I think that we humans are too estranged from our own animal nature. It gets a chance to come out in singing and dancing and other physical activities. Otherwise, we tend to ignore it and to focus on doing things animals with large brains and opposing thumbs can do, like talk and compute and make things. And we tend to think we can conquer our basic natures. And I'm sure we do a lot of that; but all that human command draws a line somewhere when it runs up against the wall of our basic nature.
And that's okay, too, is my point. Basically, you are what you are, and you can't be taller than you are or have smaller feet or bigger eyes, or umm, keep things neat and tidy when you just don't have a neat tidy gene in your body. And maybe the only problem is that you desire to be different than you are. There's that word again. Watch out for it.