So this is now day 6 up at a lake in the cozy confines of a 160 square foot living space, where I eat, sleep, write, binge on Netflix and enjoy the occasional coffee chat with a few other “Hill top” neighbours. My adventure (for lack of a better word) in going nowhere has been a wonderful respite. Although I struggle with the word respite in its true meaning as that would mean a relief from something difficult or unpleasant. No, my life is anything but unpleasant. Difficult? Perhaps, in the way that life is a daily dose of uncalled for caca del toro being tossed now and then, but that is life at the speed of life.
It has been nice to have some quiet introspective thoughts that I can chew on, write down, translate and carve into something with meaning. I sat this morning just after sunrise by the lake in the chilly 5 degree morning weather and tried to construct some depth to writings I made in my notebook. These were to be “published posts” if you will, and perhaps by publishing this today for posterity, I will return to them to sand and add a coat of varnish to the unfinished carpentry of thoughts written in ink on paper that has more scribbles than blank open fields. My readings that give birth to many thoughts have been varied, but a central theme emerges when I look back on the dog eared paperbacks with pen and marker underlined pages graced by my own notes up and down the paragraphs that gave me pause to understand. I do hope to go back (soon) and publish in this blog more depth, but at 8 am this fine May morning, my attraction is to bullet point some of my “learnings” the past 6 days before I head back to my little town.
- The paradox and/or the “why of extremes: We live in a world that seems more and more dictated by one or the other. What happened to, or where is the sweet spot in the middle. Trying not to rant or rave politically but to figure out the “why” it has to be on either end of the bat of life and not the sweet spot in the middle. Ying/Yang is best description I have, but that is a paradox in itself. Sunrise/sunset. Love/Hate. Selfish/Selfless. Heaven/Hell. Hot/Cold. High sensation/Sedentary. Simple/Complicated. Ignore/Engage. Is there not a way to live a principled life where the middle is the Sweetest spot? What if a trip or a vacation was not the “BEST EVER”, and just another life adventure? Would this disappoint or could we not accept the grace of any adventure, any road we take?
- Dukka: This is a Buddhist/Tibetean concept, commonly translated as “suffering”, “pain”, “unsatisfactoriness” or “stress”. It refers to the fundamental unsatisfactoriness and painfulness of mundane life. I have delved into the three kinds of Dukka in my readings. The first is straight forward: The mental/physical pain or suffering we all have. The second is the Dukka of change. The third is the toughest to understand and to overcome I believe: The dukka of being. “Why are we here? What is our purpose? Why do we die? Why do we have to die? The second “Truth” of Buddha is Dharma, which is essenentially a way of living in order to overcome Dukka. Dharma arises to deal with Dukka. The Buddha taught not a belief, but a way of living which is Dharma.
- Discovery for me this week has been to stop searching for meaning and accept. It is okay to accept that life is not good, life is not bad, it just is life. Removing the Ying/yang (see first bullet) from all of the equations and accepting that we exist. Why is there a need to discover the “why”? Go and make a peanut butter sandwich and sit and enjoy the sound of the woodpecker!
- Deaf people are blessed. Through the beauty of sign (ASL) they use little words and lots of emotive. Facial expressions, character expressions, and primal movements. The oral world uses far too many words. Hearing world/oral: “I’m feeling a little peckish. Do you feel like a bit of nosh to take the edge off?” “It is a tad on the chilly side.” My rust bucket of a car needs more work. Can you do me a solid and give me a hand?.” Deaf culture via sign language: “Me hungry. You?” “Cold today” ” Car broken. Can you help fix?” What if words cost us money? What if we said every word cost $500 and I gave you a $10,000 budget every day? Would we less verbal but communicate better?
Thoughts to work on, and hopefully on a word budget. As I go back and read my ramblings I find myself grinding my teeth and wishing I had edited more than spelling. Alas, I am not a writer for profit or praise. I write for me, and if someone happens to Google “Five string guitars” and finds this tiny corner of the digital world, my only wish is this: May you find a gem or just a stone that makes you want to be better. Perhaps you, like I, may decide to take the Road not taken.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.