Secret Pop

Sep 19, 2001

"If the boulders are moved, even a river will change its flow."

Here's something I catch myself thinking. I wish I were an animal. A pleasant one, for certain. But it could be any animal. Maybe even a domesticated pet. I wish that my cares were looked after by someone else. I wish my wants were perpetuated by instinct and nature. I wish I didn't have to shoulder the burden of human concern. I know that's almost feeble-minded in its logic. And I know I have no right to shrug off the responsibility of logical thought. I just sometimes find myself wishing that I didn't have so much to fret over in a day. It's getting to the point where the only thing approaching a Zen experience I can refer to on a near daily basis is the peace I feel when my mascara goes on well and my eyelashes look as if they belong on a pretty Asian baby doll. And I'm thinking this cheapens the fundaments of the Zen tradition by a degree or two. But then, I have a bone to pick with the Zen philosophy at least on the level that it once taught me that if one chooses to pray to a rock with enough devotion, even that rock will come alive. In my experience, this policy has been something akin to an abject failure. If I am misinterpreting the tenet -- as I likely am -- then I release the Zen teachings of the expectation of enlightening me or perhaps simply lightening my load a bit. I think it may come down to the fact that I am always looking for an answer to a question for which there may be no one answer. And I am almost always looking for answers to questions that pertain to me in a very self-centered and unenlightened fashion. If I can take anything from the teachings of Zen -- and I'm not saying there's any point in doing so -- perhaps it begins with loosening that focus. I am not the world. The world is not me. "Pure light is in all colors. Therefore, it has no hue. Only when singleness is scattered does color appear." This may be intended to encourage us to return to the place of unity. But for me, I think, it says that, alone, I am colorless. And there has never been a time when I have been more convinced that a little color in my life could do me some good.

"After completion come new beginnings. To gain strength, renew the root."

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