Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Be More Curious than Afraid

It's true, you need a mess of help to stand alone, whether Carl is passionate or if the Surf's Up. (Brian, my man, you know you're tracking sand through the whole house, right?). I don't always remember that, but in recent weeks I've been fortunate in having folks lend me a hand when I really needed it, but didn't necessarily deserve it, so thank you.

I ended up spending a good deal of time in the new, improved and quite beautiful Otis Library in Norwich, CT (I'd always liked the library even when I hadn't realized the building was a former department store that had been 'repurposed' after the business went under back in the day) as well as at Borders book/DVD/CD/coffee store in Waterford, as the fellow helping me wrestle my demons to the curb had me get some reading (bless the Literacy Volunteers! Without them, I'd have never found D. H. Lawrence, at least that's what I told the judge at the time) that he hoped might aid me in getting closer to that alien, distant shore.

The corner I'd painted myself into was black as night, black as coal. I hadn't actually realized I was there until I looked down and saw the paint brush in my hand. So long, and thanks for all the fish. I didn't have a cowgirl, with blues or otherwise, and those pony rides for my birthday sure would have come in handy (story of my life: all pony, no boat). I'd spent so much time dreading the knock on the door or the ring of the phone, especially those that didn't come, I walked around waiting for The Arrival of the Awful and always feeling pleased when it got here.

I'm NOT saying if you read Start Where You Are you'll be able to play Chopin or chopsticks, run faster than a locomotive or be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (some things require steroids, it's as simple as that) but it did me some good. Okay, not so much good that my soul now glows in the dark and is visible from space--but I'm a little less unlikeable than I've been for most of my life (in fairness, only while sleeping).

Home girl (if you're from The Nutmeg State) Pema Chodron does write a lot about aspects of exercises that, aside from having names I cannot learn and will not say, can get daunting if you're looking for a tech manual or a cookbook. It took me about halfway through her book, which isn't the easiest read I've ever had, to discover the snapshot that (so far) works for me,"Be More Curious than Afraid." The book is subtitled "A Guide to Compassionate Living" and I'm not a big fan of sub-titles in movie houses, but I like the first reel of this one and sure hope the projectionist finds another take-up reel so the feature can continue. I could learn to like it.
-bill kenny

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