A jogger with his iPod earplugs in place was struck and killed on a South Carolina beach when the pilot of a single-engine airplane whose motor had died made an emergency landing from behind an oil-spattered windshield on Monday. The pilot and his passenger survived. Investigators agreed the jogger never heard the plane coming.
The story reminded me of Thornton Wilder's "The Bridge of San Luis Rey," a tale of several people's lives before they arrived at a bridge that collapsed and killed them.
It also reminded me of the old spiritual-endeavor nostrum, "Understanding is knowing to get out of the way of an on-coming bus. Practice is for the bus you didn't see coming."
I am reduced to reading the news. I cannot seem to summon the same interest and concern I once did for the difficulties etched on internet venues devoted to, most often, Zen Buddhism. The difficulties are often real and recognizable and touchingly human. The suggestions and answers are sometimes pretty good. Someone will answer them, someone will help.
What good is spiritual life if it remains a sheltered bastion? Yes, there are good teachings and good practices and they are sometimes worth learning and learning well. But having learned a little -- not just from books, but from experience -- isn't it time to go jogging with a smile on your face, to take your act on the road and forget about it?
Funny, the human habit of wanting to make things change when they change all by themselves.