This year they seemed to come in a rash. All over the fields, a rash of lambs. Could that be the collective term for lambs? Probably not. And because of the multitude I’ve taken less notice of them. Become less engaged with the wonder of them; their springing and prancing, their rough and tumble playing together. Bringers of life to the former sodden fields of December and January (February and March too to be honest.)! Love ’em but try to catch a picture of lambs in repose and as you can see they got up sharpish and walked away. Not bothered. Have a photo taken? Not bothered.
Which brings me to thinking, at what point does something, some event, some kind of multitudinous abundance bring us to being not bothered, to being numbed. When, what ever it is, becomes unimportant to us due to it having become a ‘rash’. Food for thought.
For all those hungry people in the world who are surrounded by food.
Writing is for:
Eternal ‘not knowing’
There are people we meet in life who help bring about a profound change. A change in ones life direction, thinking and most especially take one deeper than ones own mind. Just so. My first writing at my now transformed writing desk was about just such a profound meeting which came through the medium of television.
At age fourteen I witnessed, I was to discover later, my teacher Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett being interviewed for British TV soon after she arrived in Japan to study with Zen Master Koho Zenji. She was standing with shaven head and flowing robes, resolute, in a garden in the grounds of Soji-ji Temple, Yokohama Japan. As the interview concluded up into my mind came, If she can do it, I can do it too. That’s all it takes. A thought unbidden, seemingly out of nowhere which in my case lead me towards ordination as a Buddhist monastic. At the time I was not in the least bit interested in religion. Far from it.
Anyway, my first piece of writing at my transformed desk was for the OBC Journal, and I will publish the short paragraph after the Journal is published.
For all the people who have come into our lives, for all the twists and turns they have brought about which have us here now. We are alive, breathing. For that, and much more, we can be grateful. But who’s counting?
This writing desk was asking for some serious TLC and I’ve taken on the task. Bought at the local Charity Shop, it was love at first sight. I’d wanted a writing desk and now I have one. Or has it got me!
This is the before photograph of the desk in its original, scratched and flaking state. You will see the after picture ‘in due course’. This is my ‘intention’ desk. To write more and more often desk. With a coat of paint tender care along with love will be etched into the wood. It’s a hand-writing desk. Somewhere special and specific I can return to sit down and take up an actual pen, with ink. Proper ink. No great novel or even great thoughts, simply a place to land before, put pen to paper and see what comes. Blog posts and thoughts I didn’t even know were there. Who knows.
So now when I sit down with a cup of tea and either my laptop or notebook, I have a clean, uncluttered space to contemplate: a place where I can spread out my books, papers, or whatever else I’m working on. Just as a Dharma room Buddha is a visual representation of the calm, compassionate focus we’d like to attain, my desk is a tangible reminder of the priorities and practices I’d like to cultivate.
Tempus fugit: Time is fleeting. Where tempus fugit appears as fugit inreparabile tempus it is: it escapes, irretrievable time.
Ah the flying time!
In Zen we have a verse:
As an Arrow
Flies from a bow.
To the teacher then:
I wish to sit
And learn from you.
The verses are a commitment, a deep one. Yes, time passes and deeper still there is never a time when one does not learn from ‘the teacher’.
This post is for all those who are caught in the irreparable hour. The space from diagnosis and a date for surgery. The space from date of surgery to surgery. Time does not fly then. Time wears heavy boots then. And still we can sit beside/in our heavy boots, the interminable hour. And learn. For ever.
It seems like yesterday, but it wasn’t, when I strained to hold up a flight of stairs while my dad fixed them in place at the top. They were heavy and I was seriously challenged; my relationship with this man, my relationship with myself. Why am I doing this, doesn’t he appreciate how ridiculously heavy these stairs are! For goodness sake, I could hurt myself. But that all flashed by so quickly and the thought imprinted indelibly on my mind was, I love this person, not in spite of his idiosyncrasies but BECAUSE of them,
How true it is of people, places, animal friends. Everything and everybody I’d say. The now-and-then craziness of our friends and acquaintances are still bonkers at times – love doesn’t render us blind. Each of us has habits and…quirkinesses others find difficult! But love transcends and acknowledges what is, seemlessly (and for sure sometimes love tells us to hot-foot it out and away, and fast.)
I love the car I drive, the place I’m staying, the pots and pans I use. I thank them as I leave and return, when I turn the key in the locks and when I burn a pan (as this morning) and it comes up shiny and new again. Love just comes and that’s the way of gratitude and of love, not a feeling, more simply of the heart. Just arises without counting the costs, the hurts and disappointments the slights and the worries. Oh, and of course the inter-personals!
I guess there isn’t a thing, not anything, that’s outside or inside for that matter. All the same it’s when we are estranged, leaving, leaving behind, waving good by, that what’s ever-present makes manifest.
These flowers above are in memory of my father who died on the 29th January 2000 and for a chap who is getting ready to exit this world. My kind thoughts to all who suffer with loss and with lost love.