Archive for the ‘overshare’ Category

Just glad February is over

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Today is my birthday, March 1, which makes me a Pisces if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m not doing much, just took the day off from work and plan to go shoot some pool with friends later tonight.

I kind of hate birthdays, but not for the reasons you might think. I don’t even much like other people’s birthdays, and can never remember the dates. I don’t think anyone in my family has ever received a birthday card from me on time, and I seldom buy them for friends. I feel guilty about this, because I know other people do like birthdays. I just really, really don’t.

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Who do you want to be today?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

I’ve had an epiphany. I’m going back to school for Environmental Studies, and I want to be involved in sustainability planning for communities. Ta da!

Only took me twenty years to figure that out. I’ve never been particularly interested in anything specific as a job, except writing novels. And I certainly don’t give a crap about a career just for the sake of a career. Associate manager to manager to senior manager to associate director to director to senior director – who cares? Do any of those people actually enjoy what they do every day?

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Resolving my father issues

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

St.-George-and-the-Dragon-statue-etchingMy stepmother died last Friday. No condolences are needed; there was no love between us. I hadn’t spoken to her in years. I do feel for her family – she had children, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren, who all loved her very much – and of course for my father. They were everything to each other, and did everything together. He’s in his late seventies, and now he’s alone. I know this has hit him hard.

I flew to the Midwest last Sunday, not wanting to go but unable to get out of it, and as it turns out I’m glad I did. In grief, a person will say things they wouldn’t say at any other time. We don’t really talk about anything in my family – at least, we never have before. (more…)

Killing the sangha

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

standoutI stopped going to the zendo after my last post, and my Thursday depressions instantly ceased. I felt better for the next few weeks than I had in many months.

It saddens and disappoints me that this sangha didn’t work out for me, but once the depression lifted, I realized that of course I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was intimidated in the beginning, and I never got through that. I’m sure my discomfort was evident to anyone who looked at me. It’s not anyone’s job, as far as I know, to help people who seem to be struggling; maybe that’s not the case in other sanghas. I would’ve liked it if someone had at least tried. These are not bad or insincere people by any means. No community is perfect, and I didn’t expect this one to be. We just never reached each other.

Though I could wish I had quit a bit sooner, I am glad I didn’t give up on them right away. Sometimes it’s hard to know how much effort to put into something. (more…)

The least of the Three Treasures

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

1118619_jewellery_boxWhen you become a Buddhist, you “take refuge” in the Three Treasures: the Buddha, which is the Buddha, of course, but also Buddha-nature that’s in all of us; the dharma, which means your responsibilities, the stuff you have to do; and the sangha, which is the community of people practicing with you. It’s the sangha I have trouble with.

The sangha at this zendo were never very warm and welcoming, which I found reassuring at first. I was nervous enough about the whole thing and it was good not to feel like I had 100 or so brand new best friends, like it’s a cult or something. I assumed that we’d get to know one another and I’d eventually find some friends there.

And when that didn’t happen, I thought maybe I needed to keep going for a while before they trusted me. Even in the first few months I saw how many people show up just a few times, then disappear. It’s a tough discipline and doesn’t necessarily show any results right away, maybe not for years.

I tried to be friendly, but something just wasn’t working. Apart from the core group who were almost always there, I found it hard to tell who was brand new and who was a regular. A lot of people there don’t speak English very well, and were even more shy than I am. And I’m never quite sure what I’m allowed to talk about.

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The ghost of a flashback

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

top of chain link fenceLately I’ve been plagued by a repeating image. More than an image, it’s a whole-body sense thing. It’s a man hitting me with a stick.

It’s actually been with me for years, it just took me this long to realize it. Doing zazen, as I’ve said, means all kinds of day-to-day junk precipitates out (thank you, high school chemistry) and lets me see clearly what I’m really thinking. It was during zazen that I really started to see this little film clip, and afterwards I realized that it’s popping up quite often lately. It plays many times a day. (more…)

Too much information

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

black-gloves-59941_7751_optIs there any such thing, in a blog? I suppose it depends on what kind of blog we’re talking about.

I’m still trying to figure out what kind of blog I want this to be. I’ve just spent the better part of the past week reading a friend’s blog, completely unable to stop reading the next entry, and the next entry, and the next… She’s having a very interesting life, is brutally honest, and knows how to tell a story – the best combination in the world. And I got to thinking, I need to tell more of those kinds of stories here. (more…)