I had a brilliant essay in mind when I took this picture. Towards a More Pagan Zen: Not One, Not Two was the title of it. And I've been meaning and meaning and meaning to get to my desk to hammer it all out, but of course in its usual way, life has intervened.
To be more specific, I've noticed that no sooner do I make the sincere offering of putting my beliefs in written form and "out there", all the things that I find in my mind to support those beliefs come crashing down and around. And I am left scrambling to reconfigure myself one more time, forgetting old ideals and ideas, just to focus on living one moment to the next. (And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one out there this happens to, eh?)
What I'd had in mind was something along the lines of how instrumental my "pagan" life experience was in teaching me, for live and for real, that we are not separate, and yet we are not "together" either. It's a teaching that zen sums up well in the saying, "not one, not two". It's a teaching on the nature of reality that helps to expand a bit on Buddha's lesson of sunyata, or emptiness; the notion that while nothing really exists, it doesn't not exist either.
And then along comes life, the real Buddha, bringing the lesson on home.
It doesn't matter what you think; or how you've figured it out, or even what you believe. All that matters is how you deal with things in the moment-- for the sake of your relationships-- and even then, there are no guarantees, because we are not perfect, nor do we need to be.
All that is to say, when your child is not well, the world has a tendency to turn upside-down, and at long last you understand fully how it's true: you are neither separate, nor connected. That what you think is perfection is actually impossible in each moment; but when you listen, really listen, you notice your part in the perfection that exists as it is.
This really isn't a call for sympathy and at the end of the day, I'm not sure why I'm writing it, but to get the words out there.
Aha, no I know why... because it's time to get over that "teaching voice", that one that sneaks its way in to so many posts, putting up little walls, funny little walls between us. Maybe you know what I'm talking about? In that spirit, I'm setting aside that teacher, and reconfiguring yet again:
My child is not well, and the world as I've understood it has, again, turned upside-down. At long last I understand fully how it can be true that we are neither separate, nor connected. That what I think is perfection is actually not possible; yet when I listen, really listen, I notice my part in the perfection that exists as it is.
Oisin G'Dea's mama, wife of an Ruaphok Gaiscíoch; lover of the creative life, nomadship and stewardship; zen priest, gardener, artist, writer, herb-crafter, counselor and dreamer... I've lived in the inspiring high-desert, mountain-punctuated New Mexico & Colorado ~ misty redwood-coated coastlines of Northern California ~ strangely elegant riversides in Southern Maryland ~ snowy, busy Greater Boston ~ lovely and welcoming Hilltown Massachussetts.