Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I suck at taking my own advice.

Playing on the iPod: David Sylvian, "Approaching Silence"
Meters swum today: 1500

One of the big things in Buddhism is non-attachment. That is, refraining from investing a lot of emotion in the holding-on to something, whether that thing is a person, a job, a physical object (or as they say in legalese, a "tangible thing"--I love that), a concept or an idea. The reason for this is simple: Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. If you invest a lot of emotion into, say, the idea that the Republican Party is the best for the country, and then you, say, suffer through eight years of George Junior, you're faced with two options, neither of which are pleasant: Letting go of the idea that the Republican Party is the best for the country, or deciding that George is just the exception that proves the rule. Or, I guess there's a third option, deciding that George is doing a great job and anyone who doesn't think so is pinko scum despite the reams of evidence to the contrary. (Does anyone use the word pinko anymore? It just sounds so 1950s.)

Anyway, I had a Job Related Crisis some time back (See "Buddha's Cube Farm Warriors") and although the Crisis passed, the idea is still with me. The idea is that all jobs end. Sooner or later you will move on, get fired, quit, retire, or something. So, be willing to let go of the job when that time comes, rather than clinging to it with fingernails and teeth and saying, "Hell no, I won't go." (Now, that sounds really 1960s.) Why? Because everything changes. Nothing stays the same. All relationships end. Friends move away. People die. So, enjoy them while they're here and then let them go.

And, as the title of this post suggests, I suck at it.

I'm not gonna tell you what this is all about, because it's Not Time Yet, but let's just say there's something Joan wants to do and I don't. Well, it's not fair to blame it on Joan because she's only pointing out the obvious but, anyway, she's pointed it out, and I don't wanna do it. I still feel like there's another option and I'm still clinging to that option with fingernails and teeth and saying, "No draft, no war, US out of El Salvador." (Hey, I got all the way up to the 80s. Can cell phones be far behind?)

This is one of the Big Relationship Issues, like whether or not to have a kid. (No, it's not about having a kid, thank God.) It's something we probably should have settled a long time ago. And that's not even a fair statement, entirely, because Everything's Changed Since Then. What's more, it isn't the sort of thing that can be done halfway. You either do it or not. And sometimes I'm okay with it. Half an hour ago, for example, I was like, "Well, okay, if that's what it's gonna be, then let's do this and this and this to get ready for it." That was half an hour ago though. Right now, at the moment, I'm back to fingernails and teeth. And in another half hour I might be back to "Well, okay."

To say I'm Massively Conflicted is an understatement. And it hasn't even happened yet. Can't happen, really, for a while. But it's either move toward it or don't. Get ready for it or don't. And what I've been doing is moving toward it, then running right back to where I started and saying, "Uh-uh. Nope. Not gonna do it." Which doesn't help either way and isn't fair to Joan or to me or, well, to anybody.

Suffering? Oh yeah. Let's talk about suffering.

I am stuck - that is attached - with two disparate and irreconcilable ideas. I have to let go of one of 'em. And from where I sit, today, right now, in this last two seconds before I have to get my backside back to work, I can't seem to pry either one from my fingers. The wise thing to do, probably, is to let go of both the ideas and let whatever's gonna happen, happen. But, again, when have I ever taken my own advice?

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