Walking out early this grey morning with spring flowers, peeping through the cold earth. Hikers and dog walkers braving the brisk air. The birds active. Chirp, twitter, chirp and ???!!!X – What?!!! Looking up and there they were. Two Macaws, carrying on loudly, perched high on a chimney pot. Between squawks and flappings they upended into the pot. For what?
Anyway, I did know about the Macaws and had seen them low flying up the High Street one late afternoon recently. They are big, they are colourful and they are loud. (They and the man who flies them can be viewed on video.)
As I walk, the morning sound scape goes largely unnoticed. So it is with the visual scape, and the smell scape too for that matter. Only with something like the sound of the Macaws or the sight of first flowers will I notice, briefly. They escape from their background. The Macaws had their tasty inside the chimney pot, the flowers had the call of the sun to concentrate their attention. And so it is with me and the brown fluff from my socks. There it is, dark spots on the light coloured bedroom carpet. My attention is captured, briefly.
I can tolerate the spots on the carpet. However at some point I will get out the vacuum cleaner and have a good go through. Oh, and how that go through can last if I am not careful. There is always more to clean. More and more and more and then there is the recycling and the organizing of stuff. And before I know it I’m cleaning the registry on my computer at midnight. (No. I don’t do that!) This is harking back to Adrienne’s post on Distractions.
It is so easy to become carried away in ones’ day. One thing leads to another in a never ending stream. Responding to conditions or becoming carried away by them? And carried away from oneself. That (oneself) is not the self absorbed one. The me that worries unendingly about me and how to make me a better, happier, fitter-more-productive-me. And it isn’t anybody else or anything thing else either.
I have several emails waiting to be answered. This post could well answer all of them at once. Over focusing on ones foibles, faults and general life angst is, if you haven’t got the point yet, like becoming obsessed with dirt on the carpet. Buddhist practice is not about getting the carpet perfectly clean. Or about becoming in any, and all, of the endless ways one can imagine. Yes, there is cleaning to do and the loudness of the squawking is to wake one up, to get ones attention. Just that. And yes the carpet is just fine as it is – even with, so called, flaws. That’s why I say so called distractions.
Just what is it we think we are being distracted away from?