Without attaching any magical-mystery-tour adventure to it, I wonder to what extent surprise is needful in life. I mean, you know, nice, unexpected surprises ... not the thorns and thickets kind.
Based on a couple of surprises this morning and the sense of smiling within, well ... I like a nice or challenging surprise now and then. It's fresh and refreshing ... and never mind the bloviating about everything-is-a-surprise-all-the-time, everything-changes elements and sermons. I like the smile of it all ... fuck the lecture.
This morning, I had an email note from -- I am not making this up -- Adam, a fellow who appears to be organizing Buddhism as it pertains to students at the nearby University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Would I be willing to have Black Moon Zendo (the backyard meditation space here) listed; would I be willing to give a talk; would I be willing to be part of the Buddhist organizational mix?
I like being bamboozled in a way that forces me to reassess something I have done in the past. Mostly, people seem to worry that their bad deeds will catch up with them. I have the same -- or perhaps worse -- fear that my good deeds, if that's what they were, will dispense banana peels (not rose petals) in my current path. Translation: After so many years of interest, I had to reconsider one aspect of my life ... something 'serious' ... it was a surprise. "You made your bed, now sleep in it!"
Adam's note was a challenge. Given the popularity of talk-the-talk Zen, I don't really expect any response to the email riposte I sent him. But in shaping that response, I had to go over ground I generally ignore these days ... stuff that, like the autumn leaves in an almost-spring backyard, is there, but I ignore in general. In one sense, I am a kid all over again and if I squeeze my eyes tightly enough, then, of course, things disappear ... and pigs will fly.
OK ... it was a surprise and I kind of liked being put on my answer-the-email mettle.
Earlier, in the land between sleep and waking, there was the brown boy of perhaps 10 or 12, lounging on the beach, playing J.S. Bach on an electrified lute. I had survived a tsunami and was looking out to sea: I didn't know but what another huge wave was coming when I heard the music and turned to see where the music was coming from. The boy was relaxed and smiling and the sassy-ness of the situation -- an electrified
lute; a lute that is usually so British-tea proper -- filled me with delight. "I'll be goddamned!" I said to the boy. "It's for you," he said with a sweet smile.
It was a surprise and I could feel my surprise-longing gas tank filling up. Hot damn! I wanted the moment to last and last, its freshness scrubbing me clean inside and out. But then the balance between sleep and wakefulness shifted and the boy -- my surprise boy -- disappeared.
Ah, but it was grand in its time.
Gossamer-light as a feather...
Surprise! You're asleep.
Surprise! You're awake.
Surprise! You're smiling ....
Or at any rate, I was.