Tuesday, July 6, 2010


An oppressive heat wave has settled on the eastern part of the United States. Not just hot, but humid ... damn near viscous. Like a profound cold, there is a quiet, mortal threat that comes with the heat ... or perhaps that is just an indicator of my age.

In Zen, there is a saying: "When it's hot, sweat. When it's cold, shiver." And at a time when the muscles and mind were stronger, this has a kind of courage-in-the-face-of-adversity feel to it.

But the heat does not respond to braggadocio of youth and can-do capacities. Zen is for sissies waving the flags of bushido. But heat ... heat is serene and without endeavor. It does not kill on purpose. It does not encourage life on purpose. To call it implacable is just a polysyllabic ego trip ... another one, full of meaning and importance and ... me.

Meaning ... what is it like when things mean neither something nor nothing? Since I am a sissy, I do pray that the air conditioning keeps working, that there is no power outage, that I will neither sweat nor die.

But the heat?

Drip, drip, drip....

1 comment:

  1. I think our society needs to adapt to nature better and follow the rest of the world that take siestas during the hottest parts of the day. Let nature do it's thing and not fight it.

    We should take the opportunity to rest and take a nap. What a novel idea!! It's not being lazy as our Puritan work ethic would suggest. It's being aware of our limitations and being fully accepting of the present moment.

    I think we push the human body in our modern society too much. We have delusions about what the human body can take and how far we can push it but the human body is perfectly aware of the moment and it's capacities.

    Whether we are or not it will shut down when the present moment finds itself unable to function. Perhaps we can learn from that and accept our limitations instead of forcing and pushing everything.