Monday, May 31, 2010

eine kleine morgen musik

An article along this morning's news wires outlines a charitable effort to grant the wishes of the elderly ... making it possible for them to do things like take piano lessons when piano lessons previously seemed unattainable.

Meanwhile Israel, a country with an excellent public relations apparatus, attacked an aid convoy headed for the blockaded Gaza Strip. The attack occurred in international waters. "At least 10 activists were killed in Monday morning's clash in international waters of Israel's Mediterranean coast," the Associated Press reported. "Activists" ... not "aid workers." "Activists" are people you can blame, now or later, for violence you either precipitated or took part international waters.

My Zen teacher, Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi, once said, "Without ego, nothing gets done." Without our wishes, perhaps we would never stir our stumps to accomplish what we wish might be accomplished. And it may be a very fine accomplishment, whatever we wished for, but I think it behooves us to recognize that what we wish for and what we strive for leaves wreckage in its wake. Not taking responsibility for that wreckage ... well, it's common enough ("look what a good thing I accomplished!"), but it also is enough to turn your stomach.

A world without wishes would be a strange thing indeed and yet, as I sat on the porch today, watching the flag flap in the cool, morning breeze, watching the play of light and shadow ... and then hearing a neighboring cardinal sound off in colorful notes more colorful than his feathers, there was something pleasant about not wishing ... something uncompromised and uncompromising ... something like piano wishes necessary.

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