Let me at least fail at my life
with apple in hand.
I should talk about what I meant when I wrote that we have a lot of time, because when I sit down to think about it, it is easier to say that we have no time. That is what we have been told — that we have short lives within which we are meant to achieve certain things, or at least make a good living. And within these short lives, apparently we have even shorter sections of time, like our twenties, thirties, etc., within which we’re supposed to achieve the micro-things that will culminate in a successful life.
I understand that we need to make a living. But I wonder why we must lead successful lives, and on whose terms? I don’t want to succeed at living. I want to live. I say this because I know many of you who read this are not struggling financially. Perhaps, with that secured, you could set down all the other things you think you are meant to be and do. Perhaps now you can live. I hope I’m not crossing the line when I say I want that for you.
It strikes me, of course, that even with a stable income, living is difficult. I know of friends who come home from work too tired and sapped to do anything else but think of their next day off. I guess I am an idealist, an optimist for you. I believe you deserve and can have more than this exhaustion.
Recently, I set my browser’s startup pages to include, as the first tab, a meditation video. Today, as I opened things up, ready to go, it stopped me short again, and I settled down to meditate.
I try not to take these things too solemnly and strictly, so I ate some of my breakfast as I breathed slowly. I tried to eat mindfully, something which I picked up from attending one of Joyful Garden Sangha’s Days of Mindfulness. (You should try eating this way, attentively — it makes the flavours more saturated and nuanced.)
Halfway through a slice of apple, an instruction about breathing came and I held the remaining half in my right hand as I attended to my breath. I wanted to keep my hand relaxed, so turned it over, bringing my palm to face up. The half-slice of apple sat there on the soft of it. It was an odd image, I think, of someone seated at their work desk, arms on the rests of their chair (the office kind with wheels), half an apple cupped gently in one hand, meditating. I looked down at the apple piece a few times and found it cute, endearing. Almost like a pet dog lazing on a cushion.
Here is a poem to end, titled “I Imagine the Gods”. I wish you peace and happiness, and that today, you slow down for at least a moment. If it is possible, I wish you come to a complete stop and breathe in that silence again.
Waiting for the rain,