March 23, 2007

The Middle of Nothing

For the past two weeks I have done practically nothing. The first week of nothing was spring break; it was scheduled. The second week of nothing was tonsillitis; it was definitely unscheduled. And it was easy. That is what amazes me so. It was so easy to do nothing.

Sometimes I worry about misplaced ambition. I make myself so busy chasing some elusive future goal. When I reach that goal…what then? Will I be happy? Am I not happy now? And if I stop, if I just let it all go, went out and got a regular job, paid the bills, came home every night by five, what then? Will I be happy? Or will I just feel lost because I don’t have a goal?

*sigh* Okay, enough of that, sounds a little too much like angst for me and that’s not my thing.

Today I left my house for the first significant period of time in a week. I felt good, despite the lingering lump in my throat. The setting sun was warm. I am wearing sandals for the first time in months. The trees on campus are just starting to flower and the cute college guys are out jogging in their tennis shoes and itty bitty running shorts and nothing else.

How could two weeks go by so fast? One good (oh so good), one bad and nothing to show for either of them. It would be so easy to live that way. It would be what Chogyam Trungpa calls the “setting-sun world.” I am so happy I have the dharma, and the dharma is hard, simple, but hard. It makes me happy. And I have my goals, which are also hard but not always simple. That makes me happy too. And I have sunshine and flowers and cute college boys and that makes me happy too, though in an entirely different and much more neurotic way.

The Buddha told us to find the Middle Way. I see the two extremes clearly and I see that somehow I am managing to navigate between them both. Yay, me! I found it.

Now I just need to remember where I put it.

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