Keeping On Going On

I’m not sure how it could have got there. A squashed fly between pages 122 and 133, Day fifty three: to Annapurna Base Camp. It’s moving for heavens sake! A breeze from the window, the wind is up again tonight, causes the fly to quiver and shake on the page. I’m reminded of the image of a fly within the pages of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. The meaning of the fly was lost on me at the time, and even now! Tomorrow I’ll deal with this desiccated fly.

But it’s the end of day fifty two, actually the entire day, that remains with me because the author clearly was close to giving up, but didn’t.

Wongchu wants one of the Sherpas to come and sit with me through the night, but I dissuade him, and, watched over by an inanimate but impressive array of tablets, tissues, ointments, creams and sprays, I close my eyes and wait.

The whole book, Himalaya by Michael Palin can be read on the Internet.

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3 thoughts on “Keeping On Going On”

  1. There’s an interesting trip to a Zen monastary in “Full Circle” (Day 37), I remember watching it on TV about 10 years ago. It made quite an impression, especially when he interviewed the Abbot!

    I never quite understood the dead fly in ‘Zen Mind, Beginners Mind’ either!

  2. The dead fly baffled me too, unless (it occurs to me for the first time) it says something about the nature of anything put in a book and stuck on a shelf. There’s also (I seem to remember reading) his dry comment about reading Zen Mind, Beginners Mind to see what his students where thinking (I’m pretty sure that was it – can’t quite manage to track down the exact words). Caveats and dead flies notwithstanding, it’s the first book on Zen I read that I felt really spoke to me.

    Thanks for the Michael Palin link! Truly a Living National Treasure

  3. Hi Rev. Mugo…how nice to read your blog again…we just came back from a holiday in the Alps and I just wrote about “doubt” in my blog. Amazing how sometimes this serendipity happens! And about Monks…perhaps the laity should all receive a book entitled: “Care and Feeding of Monks”! :0) I have never asked for example what is appropriate to give as a gift to a monk…at first I didn’t know if it was ok…but I have read some books I’d love to share with certain monks and didn’t know if that would be appropriate to send, etc…maybe that would be an intersting topic for you to write? By the way, tried to send a comment for yesterday’s blog and it didn’t work. Read an interesting book: ‘Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortatlity’ by Pauline W. Chen. Relates to the blogs earlier in December about death.

    All the best from windy and gusty and stormy Germany! Jack

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