Thursday, August 5, 2010

another world

Already at 3:30 a.m., the outdoors was as close and moist and glutinous as chewed taffy. The forecast is for another hot, humid day and even in the darkness I can believe it.

-- Is this true or is it just my overactive imagination? When you're young and walk down Main Street, the people you see are young -- with a sprinkling of elderly people forming a backdrop. But when you are old, Main Street is full of elderly people, with a sprinkling of young people to enliven the scene. Do we just see ourselves wherever we go or is this just a perky imagination looking for an outlet?

-- A friend was good enough to look up descriptions of "Tathagata Zen" and "Patriarchal Zen" and send them along in the wake of some earlier references we had both made. But as I read through the definitions and the regard or disregard in which each has been or is held, I found myself not caring a whole lot. It's all useful stuff in one sense (sorry, I haven't got what it takes to spell it all out), but in another sense, so what? The Zen teacher Rinzai summed things up for me when he said, "Grasp and use, but never name." Everything is useful in its time ... so, go ahead a use it. Just don't imagine that naming it has much to do with anything.

-- Interest in writing has definitely waned. The topics don't rise up as they once did and when they do rise up, the excitement is muted. I can see why other writers find books or articles or history to fluff up their prose ... let someone else do the heavy lifting... hitch a ride and make a point or two. Still, no matter how bad the writing gets, I don't imagine I will stop ... it's such an old habit, entering 'another world' ... and then finding out that it's the world you're already in.

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