Wednesday, January 21, 2015

David Hinton on impermanence

And the same as a mountain rage grinding up out of the ground, soaring into the sky, and then disappearing grain by grain as erosion erases it back into nothingness. The thought comes and goes in five seconds, and the mountain range takes 500 million years to rise and fall, but it's the same movement.

It's simple enough to say this, of course, but actually inhabiting that truth is difficult. That's what Chinese culture was all about: the difficult trick of living inside constant change and identifying with it. Well, at least, that's the start of it. The depths begin there.

- The Sun, January 2015 issue

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Santa Barbara, Vices and Spices

Written just now

Humility is a difficult one to get my hands around. I have humility to a certain degree when it comes to interacting with others, but when it comes to regarding myself, that’s a totally different story. I tend to think that I’m smarter and know more and can therefore get away with … what? That’s how I screwed myself up with the lap band, thinking that I could smartass my way through it. So, the question: how’s that working for you? I suppose it’s served its purpose to a degree, met a need or several needs, but what does that even mean? The needs that have been met aren’t necessarily the needs that should be met any more. These are needs like sneakiness, like getting away with it. So how’s that working for me? All too well, but not well in the way I need or want it to be.

How important is humility versus the lack thereof? I sometimes conflate humility with lack of self-esteem. I’m struggling with this right now. I realize at one level that someone who is bombastic and full of themselves isn’t exactly the self-esteem queen, and while I don’t see myself as bombastic, I certainly have been in the past. This has pushed people away, caused ire, and what has it done to me personally? Well, in some ways it’s lifted me up, given me some sort of platform on which to stand. I’m trying to figure out if that platform is solid or made of air.

I’m looking at Step Seven: Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings. Does this occur on bended knee? I’ve been having a really hard time making myself get up and get down on my knees to offer gratitude to Higher Power. That said, I’ve been feeling Higher Power more frequently, though I still have yet to define it to any more degree than to postulate that maybe it’s a sense of humor. Still a work in progress though.

From Step Seven: In OA we have discovered that humility is simply an awareness of who we really are today and a willingness to become all that we can be. Genuine humility brings an end to the feelings of inadequacy, the self-absorption, and the status-seeking. Humility, as we encounter it in our OA Fellowship, places us neither above nor below other people on some imagined ladder of worth. It places us exactly where we belong, on an equal footing with our fellow beings and in harmony with God.

I’m going to put this on my blog. It’s a way of sort of putting this out there, committing myself to it in a sense. I don’t exactly know to what I am committing. I only know that I am, in fact, committing. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Palace

New Year's realization

I've been chasing things that have already resolved themselves. Primarily, the person who I used to be. As I drove down State Street this morning seeking the sunrise, I realize that I no longer need to recapture who I once was. She will always be a part of me, but she is no longer primary and that is a function of growing up. The anger, frustration and anxiety, the wild attention-seeking, the gnawing loneliness ... I remember them but no longer viscerally feel them. I am so grateful.

Happy 2015, everyone.

New Years sunrise at Stearns Wharf