Zen (Book Excerpt)

0212021732aJanuary 31, 2011
Nogal House
Indian Divide, NM


I stepped out my door this morning into one of those Zen filled moments that I would have missed if there had been even a moment’s hesitation. As is my habit I looked to the east for that first vestige of the sunrise and was greeted instead by one of those moments of pure beauty such as the early morn and sunset seem to offer more than any other part of the day. A small grey cloud hung in the sky, framing the fine sliver of the waning moon, itself aligned with Venus, the final glimmer of the night. In perfect harmony was a raven, hanging still for that rare instance when his wing force was equal with the wind as if he too was destined to be part of the moment. What, I must wonder, made me so worthy as to be the witness?

So I begin my day, the soft clouds of moisture, such a pleasure to view in our arid clime, make me think of springtime, for the day has far more of that quality than it does for mid winter. The temperature is already above forty degrees and feels balmy, the wood stove is too hot and even the buds on the trees are straining to grow even as the wind threatens of storm. How can this be winter? I watch the small birds that I so selfishly feed for my enjoyment and wonder if they are fooled as well, just a week ago they were huddled in the cold, their fine feathers fluffed to stay warm; what do they know? My eye is drawn to the bright magenta that paints the heads of a few of the birds and wonder how I can be so pleased by such a simple thing; it is enough to watch them flitter and fight.

I have once again regained the simplicity of my life; I have returned home; though I find this in other places as well. What that it has once more become an integral part of my life; there is no way that I can disrupt this! I want for so little else that it is difficult to even consider any sort of change that would alter this element of my existence; for a moment I can be still. I can also see, as I realized just last night, that I have once more successfully reached a goal; one that I set myself on not so long ago. It was an attainable one which I started on as soon as I decided on it and see it now in full motion. I can thank Antonio for this one and if this is all that ever comes of our alliance it is more than enough.

I can remember gazing on the utter simplicity of his home, as well as the overwhelming desire to make it my own, and thinking that there was something there to be learned and incorporated into my life. Not just the simplicity but for the need to be free of all that is not necessary to my immediate existence, excepting the true keepsakes of course. I returned here ready to ‘clean house’ and have, since then, accomplished that! Certainly there are still a few superfluous items but for the most part the clutter is gone! I not only sold off the vehicles I no longer needed I also emptied the silver trailer and sold it; most of what it contained is gone as well. I shall repeat the process once more and be quite pleased with the outcome. Then there is another element of that goal, my book and all that it entails. This has been a long term goal and I find myself perched before my laptop for the hours that are required and realize that I am in that process as well, devotedly so!

Goals. We set our direction early on and then do our best, or not, to navigate in that direction. As I held the compass when we were on the White Sands, that we might pull our cable as straight as possible, I have of late set my direction in much the same way. The reward has been heartening; I am moving towards all that I wish to accomplish and the affirmations of this last week are more than I could ask for. Focus, the element of life that is so critical for success seems within reach. I must learn to manage that carefully for I do not wish to wander from this track and unlike my work I haven’t the compass there to direct me; I must be my own!

Zen. There are some things that one must capture with the eye and save within their mind as no camera can replicate them. They occur in such fleeting moments as I found outside my door just before the dawn. It repeats itself in the brilliance of the sparrow, perched for but an instant amongst the bright red branches of the peach tree and the new growth is as brilliant a red as the magenta feathers on the birds head and breast. I want to save that view for eternity. I must embed it in spirit for to do so, you cannot take of picture of true beauty for it exists only in the minds’ eye. It is this that I shall carry with me.

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