simple – keeping a journal

An Exceedingly Simple Guide to Keeping a Journal

 

A new post by Leo Babauta, author of one of my favorite blogs (Zen Habits)

the art and artlessness of cooking

image

Irish stew - beef, carrots, onions, potatoes

From Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen
in Everyday Tasks
 by Gary Thorp:

“Cookbook author Edward Espe Brown says that there are essentially two styles of cooking (and of living your life). You can select a recipe or plan and then search out all off the ingredients you’ll need in order to produce the desired results. Or, you can gather what you have on hand and creatively construct something wonderful by using sincerity, spontaneity, surprise, and invention. You can, in other words, proceed with your own activity by ‘listening’ to the ingredients and following accordingly.

Cooking for yourself or others is no less than sharing your life. It gives you the opportunity to offer something of yourself to the world.”

movement

this morning kicked off at a deliciously slow pace.

I didn’t have to rush off to work,
so I stretched out in bed,
cuddled with my dog for a while,
just savored the morning in an unhurried way.

back to work tomorrow morning, so I thought:
“I’ll enjoy this as much as I can.”

and then, it came. that restless feeling.
happy here, but thinking elsewhere.
distracted by thoughts of my future,
things perhaps that should be moving along.
“it’s just me,” I thought. “not the fact
that it’s finally 70 degrees outside,
feels like the winter’s really started to break,
and nature, animals, and people everywhere are on the move.

not that yesterday, my love and I had talked about this,
how everything, everywhere just now seems to be in motion:
people, trees, squirrels, frogs, social plans
busy weekends booked up to the limit
showers and sports and plays and weddings and parties, oh my
and although I always long for warm weather,
the wonderful hot days and cool pace of summertime,
the change, the shift after a long winter is jarring
overcompensation? fast, sudden movement to make up
for long, dark months spent in hibernation.

“no, it’s just me,” I thought. “feeling like I should be in motion.”

this line of thought was interrupted
by thumps from the upstairs apartment.
haven’t heard a sound from up there in months.
those long, dark, cold winter months.
I figured, vacant. works long hours.
turns out – completely absent.

I looked out over my balcony to see a policeman, woman with clipboard
rooms-full of furniture, thrown from the third floor and tumbled onto the lawn
at least ten strong young guys, converged here en masse, for the movement.
months sitting here stagnant, then one sunny 70 degree day,
15 minutes then gone.

I wondered what had happened.
half expected to see my unknown, long-forgotten neighbor
brought down the stairs in a kinder manner than their belongings had been
but it never came. no one was there. an apartment full of cheap furniture,
stuck in the past. that person long-gone to whatever present.
time to move out.

the dogs were hungry so I got them their dishes,
made some coffee, checked my phone.
message from my dad: “I’m going to rent out the old house,
so time to get your stuff all out. this weekend.”
two days notice. six years worth of stuff in, stuff out.
I’ve been gone four years now, but there now and then.
the process already had begun: sorting, donating, keeping.
that past is not quite so stuck in the past, but still –
without movement. but now, time to move ahead.

the curse of a sunny, 70 degree day? perhaps.

but not all movement is either bad, or good. sometimes,

it just is.