Monday, September 10, 2012

the whirlpool of whine

A combination of weed-whacking and zazen yesterday have left me paying the price this morning ... ouch, ouch, ouch... asking wryly, "what doesn't hurt?"

Since, as it seems to me, no one ever asked me with any regularity how I felt about things, I grew up thinking that what I felt was not really worth the price of admission. I tried not to be a whiner, partly because my concerns did not seem to concern anyone else and partly because burdening other people with my aches and pains struck me as unnecessarily arrogant.

But as I look around today, it seems that since everyone else is quite skillful about whining and whimpering, I might sharpen my own skills. I also notice that the notion that I am not a whiner is largely bogus: I write ... and what is writing if not one long, artful, well-camouflaged whine?

OK, Adam, let's hear it. What hurts?

Well, everything seems to. My ankles hurt, calves hurt, knees hurt, hips hurt, ribs hurt, shoulders hurt, hands hurt, forearms hurt, biceps hurt, neck hurts ... and into the bargain, one eye is all gummy from some pebble or blade of grass that zipped up off the growling weed-whacker and clipped me. And that laundry list doesn't even begin to collate and deliver the mental aches and pains and fears and worries. Taking things head-on, I seem to be a whirlpool of whine. Not very good at it, perhaps, but I'm trying.

An Internet Buddhist friend of mine used to love the story of the guy who went to the doctor and said, "It hurts when I do this." To which the doctor replied, "Well, don't do that." Easy for him to say... as easy as it is for anyone not caught in another's whirlpool of whine.

Doctors have their nostrums. Zen Buddhists have theirs. Shrinks and car mechanics have theirs. I have mine. You have yours.... all of them as caring or posturing as they like. It's easy to say, "well don't do that" when the 'that' is not the shit on your sidewalk. However excellent the advice, however full of caring and love and sympathy ... still it is not the same as being caught in the whirlpool and knowing -- goddammit all to hell! -- that the only way out of this whirlpool is ... to swim... to swim or to drown, same difference.

Hope springs eternal, perhaps, and the enduring notion that some mom might "kiss it better" refuses to let go, to get real, to be set aside with other childish or child-like things. And since there seems to be no way out of the whirlpool of whine, the only recourse I can think of is to go in ... to beard the lion ... to whine and watch, whine and watch, whine and watch. Since burying it beneath some thin-lipped bushido won't work and whining like the stereotyped Jewish mom won't work ... whine and watch, whine and watch, whine and watch.

If nothing else, it's better than television.

I think I will practice.

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