Difficulties, more like.

Some things have turned out to be unexpectedly difficult. And it's not that I expected them to be easy.  But I'm startled by the sometimes ferocity (and sometimes just plain stubborn petulance) of my not wanting to do a whole slew of things that I need to do.  And I'm frustrated by the way an hour can evade my notice, or by the way a clear set of tasks can line up before me and, though I know they're all clearly (and sometimes even easily) accomplishable, become objects for which I'm not overcoming my resistance.

Part of it, I attempt to reassure myself by reasoning, must have to do with waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I'm now less than a month away from having my relationship to this place redefined, at least by title.  And there's no need for worry or for fear, from everything that I know about how everything has gone this year.  And yet it's a massive incompleteness--and has been for months now.  I would like to believe that once I have that decision fully in hand, many of the other things frustrating me will fall back into line.  But I'm not certain that it's true. 

Fortunately, I don't have to know and in fact won't know for sure until late April.

On Saturday during the retreat, after dawn zazen and breakfast and work practice but before lunch and art practice and body practice, the abbot spoke to us about consciousness, as we stayed as still as we could on our zafus, holding the positions we'd been taught the night before.  Consciousness, he said, is like a stream, and as long as nothing interrupts it, it may flow along unperceived.  But if you drop a boulder into it, you suddenly become aware of the way it moves, the way it's made up, the way it is a stream.  When we had a short break not long afterwards, I went out to the gravel driveway with my camera and found there new melt-streams, quiet and bright with their rocks.

It is possible that koans will turn out to be my mother tongue.