A friend of mine is busting his chops -- really working his ass off -- on preparing the book, "Remembering Nakagawa Soen Roshi," for a presentation on the Internet.
Like all chores, the project has its grinding, infuriating, saturating, sapping, patience-demanding particulars.
Page after page after page after page after page. And each accomplished page brings to light the next page that has yet to be accomplished.
There is no time for back-slapping unless the project itself is to be forsaken. Woo-hoo is for slackers.
And when at last it is done ... then comes the $64 million question: Who gives a shit? Few, if any, will find the project useful in their lives and yet someone put heart and soul into that project.
I guess it's the same for anyone -- facing up to the fact that for all the hard work of this life, in all the projects and accomplishments, many/most/all will not notice or acknowledge all that hard work. How can anyone ignore my life when I have put so much effort into it?! It's so unfair!!!! My most heart-felt efforts are greeted by nothing more than an impartial shrug from the universe.
The Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki once asked a pretty good (approximate) question: "Which is more important -- to make a million dollars or to enjoy yourself while making it?" Which is more important -- to enjoy your life or to round up others to enjoy it for you?