Zen

All week I’ve wanted to write a post here. I wanted to have my nice quiet few hours where I sit and reflect on my life and capture something of worth here for my family, and for my future self.

But I didn’t get it. I didn’t get it because 60-hour work weeks are my norm now. And I live in a city so packed with people and problems that it takes me two hours – yes, two HOURS – to commute 14 miles HOME from my job when I’m finally able to leave it. 

Somehow, a decade after abandoning my life in Detroit for a “clean slate”, said life is completely full again. Overflowing, in fact. Life v.2016 laughs in the face of Life v.2006.

There are countless beautiful, wonderful, amazing things about my life – don’t get me wrong. More than there have ever been, and I am grateful. But it is undeniably full. The quiet times during the week are getting fewer and farther between.

Maybe everyone feels this way in this world – I don’t know (or at least every commuter in the Bay Area?). All I know is that I feel a real need to keep fighting for balance. Fighting for my “pauses”. I don’t want it all to overtake me. And I feel as though it’s awfully close…

We’re on our way out of the city now – off far into Northern California to visit Trent’s parents – and that will help (me, at least). But there have to be other small ways to refocus on a regular basis, and to take some control back over the pace of my life.

I need to find some. I am looking.

(But I’m not doing yoga. It’s just not for me, k? Thanks.)

Also, for starters, I’ve found that reading Zen poetry when I can’t take any more really does help. At least a little. Here are a few that helped keep me from going off the deep end this week:

If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.
It has no form, no appearance,
No root, no basis, no abode,
But is lively and buoyant.
It responds with versatile facility,
But its function cannot be located.
Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;
When you seek it,
You turn away from it all the more.
– Linji

Food and clothes sustain
Body and life;
I advise you to learn
Being as is.
When it’s time,
I move my hermitage and go,
And there’s nothing
To be left behind.
– Layman P’ang

Not believing in anything I just sit,
listening to my breathing
After thirty years
It still goes in and out.
– Albert Coelho

You’re welcome.

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3 thoughts on “Zen

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    THANK YOU! Your blog is zen poetry. And let me tell you that I suffer from the same afflictions, too much to do in too little time. I have not yet found the answer, but I continue to search. I hope, dear daughter, that in time you find what makes you truly happy. As for your life, keep doing good things and good things will come to you. Don’t worry about the rest. And don’t try so hard! Sometimes a little less is just fine. Love you!

  2. please read this, Lisa: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig.

  3. […] I’m tired and overworked and I can barely string two coherent sentences together when I get home at night, but more than […]

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