AUTHORIAL NOTE: Last week a pixie gremlin entered Just Add Father’s premises and for no good reason caused the release of a couple of caged posts into the ethers. If you’re an RSS or e-list subscriber you may have noticed the commotion. I’ll have more to say about this in next week’s post, but for now the danger has passed, the guilty party has been apprehended, and normalcy is returned. Just thought you’d like to know.
row your boat
down the stream
life is but
Home from Portland now, and in a reflecting mood. Can’t find the merry stream in Hokusai’s painting, grasshopper? Look under the clouds.
No sudden rush of nostalgia for my home town. No overflowing relief at being back this time, no tears. In their place a wherever-you-go-there-you-are sort of feeling, everything clearer and more strange. I can’t tell if I’m the man dreaming or the butterfly.
Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully. — Samuel Johnson
I’ll drink to that. If your time somewhere is limited, you notice things about the place.
It seems synchronous to be greeted by a new reader of this blog, and a slew of comments from her. In particular, one in response to Starting Over, a post about my moving-to-Portland problem that I wrote some months ago:
We spend much of our time living our lives as if they are problems to be solved over seeing them as being mysteries to be lieved. Having moved numerous time in several countries – it isn’t an easy challenge but it is an enlightening adventure. And it doesn’t take moving for it to happen – trying facing unemployment or any huge life change… adventure – a mystery to be savored and lived.
No, it doesn’t take moving (or the thought of moving) to turn your life upside down. Your life can turn upside down all by itself.
I was struck by the typo in mysteries to be lieved. I think she meant mysteries to be lived, in Rilke’s sense of living the questions. But I also like mysteries to be believed, as in the mystery of the Trinity, for example. Or the mystery every morning.
I read again that “Starting Over” post, and the rest of the comments, which seemed to me wiser than before, perhaps because I’d already answered them and so had more quiet in my head this time.
Too soon to worry, said one reader.
I say pray about it, said another.
I’ve got a prayer for you—
13TH CENTURY SAMURAI PRAYER
I have no parents
I make the heavens and earth my parents
I have no home
I make awareness my home
I have no life and death
I make the tides of breathing my life and death
I have no divine power
I make honesty my divine power
I have no means
I make adaptability to all circumstances my means
I have no tactics
I make unshadowed by thought my tactics
I have no enemy
I make carelessness my enemy
I have no armor
I make benevolence and righteousness my armor
I have no castle
I make immovable mind my castle
I have no sword
I make absence of self my sword
Today Nora and Nick have gone off somewhere and I have the house to myself.
I love my family and I love my solitude, everything quiet and empty and lovely and a dream. I have no home, no power, no means, no tactics, no castle, no sword.
I’ve heard it said that people claim to want many things, though in the end all they really want is peace.
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How’s your immovable mind today? Just Add Father is listening. (Add your thoughts by clicking a few lines below below, where it says comments or add one. I always respond here.)
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