Monday, February 20, 2012

"and one more thing..."

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And one more thing....

Yesterday, I drove my older son back to college, a round trip of about 120 miles. The adventure took place in the early afternoon, a time when I generally take a short siesta. I was tired by the time I got home but managed to cook some meatloaf and rice for my younger son (who turns 18 today) and me.

It was after dinner -- about the time when a slow devolution towards sleep kicks in -- I got an email from a fellow who had once come here with an interest in Zen Buddhism, a fellow who had taken away the Zen books I wanted to get rid of several years ago. He sent along a piece of writing -- someone else's, he said -- and wondered if I would be willing to kick it into edited shape.

I skimmed the piece over -- something about a Kabuki play whose roots went back to the 18th century. But I was tired and my inability to say "no" was overcome. The subject matter didn't interest me, I felt no necessity to do work without getting paid and ... well, fatigue threw my social niceties into a cocked hat.

One more thing ... there always seems to be one more thing. The restful feeling that something is "done," that a particular set of actions is out of the way ... basically, it's a myth. But it is a myth I can subscribe to as well as the next person. Office workers complete one project or another; mediocre Buddhists attain enlightenment; the dishes get washed ... and somehow life is like Cinderella's wicked stepmother ... one more thing to do.

It's a poor habit and I doubt I will overcome it in this lifetime or any other. There is no "one more thing." There is just this thing ... do it or don't do it: Same stuff, different moment... or same moment, different stuff ... or something like that.

A poor habit.

And one more thing ....
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