Saturday, January 15, 2011


It's minus-eleven Fahrenheit this morning. The coffee I leave on the porch for sipping purposes has frozen solid. My wife and younger son will leave shortly for a trip to somewhere outside Boston for a track meet.

Yesterday evening, my son's face suffused with joy as he crossed a line in the shot-put, throwing 38 feet and entering a more exclusive pool of throwers who can compete in "Western Massachusetts" events. He had hoped and hoped to accomplish that feat, and, now that he has....

Interesting how we all set out sights on something and then work to achieve it, to enter the realm of success, to be a winner in things little and large.  And when success comes knocking, suddenly there is no place to go but forward ... towards some new goal perhaps. Success makes the previous goal moot and we are, so to speak, empty-handed again.

We begin empty-handed and end up empty-handed. Wouldn't you think that, since empty-handedness is our lot, we might take a look at the desire to hold something, to be successful at something, to be a winner who now has to win something else?

Who are we when we are empty-handed?


  1. Your son of a bloke has it easy, with that kind of a supportive dad, and just ONE ball to throw, I would have succeeded simply by imagining my father as the target.

    *throw* *Bullseye!*

    But heck, we all love our mothers and fathers at some juncture, don't we. Bring in your aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, present girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, future WIVES, that's a hell lot of BALLS to juggle with two bare hands.

    I imagine that the Zen patriach Vimalakirti was for real and he wasn't just another arsehole, that he could live the life as a layperson, with a wife and kids yet maintain continence, engage in business yet have no interest in profits, teach young girls as if a enunch, then discipline monarchs and royal princes and reverse their attachment to royal pleasures, yada yada yada.

    How many hands do any of us have?

    I shall save the joke about me trying to be ambidextrous several months ago by trying to wank with my left hand. It got really messy.


    sorry, sometimes i resort to sick-est but well-meaning humour.


  2. somebody is laughing, and i swear it wasn't me.

  3. I think being empty-handed is a pretty good goal if your discipline is the shot-put.

  4. I just got word that what was 38 feet yesterday turned into 40 feet today. Woo-hoo and...

    Now what?

  5. Who are we when hands are full? Shit, what is full, what is empty?

  6. genkaku - I agree and yet I can't get around, I want to put some good food on the table