Thursday, April 24, 2008

More From The Past

I do not have any new thoughts today. No, my mind is not empty again. Last night much of the evening I was entertaining and serving the needs of Queen Chloe. I picked her up at the day-care after work. When her father arrived to pick her up he was in the mood to talk so he hung around for a while. By the time they left I was very tired. When I sat at my computer the system was slow and I had some difficulties logging on. It was late and I was not inspired. Today I must pull some things from the archives. We'll try again tomorrow for inspiration.

Do you ever drive yourself crazy? I know there are aspects of my personality that make other people like me but I also get on my own nerves sometimes. It’s mostly small stuff and nothing serious. Over the years I have studied a lot of psychology and read many books on personality types. I think I know myself too well. On the one hand I know myself well enough to understand why some people like me. On the other hand I also know myself well enough to see my more dysfunctional self coming from a mile away. The usual point of such self awareness is to keep that dysfunctional self from ever actually arriving. Sometimes I am successful and other times I am not. Of course, this dysfunctional self is like my twin brother. Others don’t always recognize him. The good news is that he’s not a bad fellow; he’s just not my best self. He’s the fellow that makes me say things I shouldn't’t say or do things I shouldn't’t do. He holds me back when I should be more proactive and he jumps ahead when I should be more patient. He’s not a bad person. He’s just annoying, at least to me and perhaps to others as well. Of course, for all I know there may even be people who prefer him to my “better” self. Who knows? Life is a mystery. Of course, I like my goofy Pa Paw persona. Chloe loves him.

One of my favorite musical groups is Jethro Tull. I have managed to see them three or four times over the years. I have always liked one of their more obscure songs entitled “Inside”, especially the following lyrics. The song is on an early album entitled “Benefit”.

I'm sitting on the corner feeling glad. Got no money coming in but I can't be sad. That was the best cup of coffee I ever had. And I won't worry about a thing because we've got it made, here on the inside, outside so far away.

At various times in my life I have found myself singing these words and then last night as I was hauling some tree limbs and other yard waste to the curb, a storm seemed to be blowing up as the darkness began to cover the land. It reminded me of other lyrics from the same song.

Take a walk in the park, does the wind in the dark sound like music to you? Well I'm thinking it does to me.

People like me live much of their intellectual and emotional life on the “Inside”. On the outside we can appear to be unemotional or even in a daze. However, I can assure you that there’s much more going on than appears. All of our senses are going strong and are observing and taking in everything around us. There is little that we do not notice and we are always processing all we take in. No, we are not aliens. We are introverts.

People have occasionally asked me how they can be like me. Well, we are all unique so you can’t be exactly like me. To be honest, I am not even sure how I became me! You can learn to be more observant and aware. Pay attention to the moment. Drink the coffee, taste the coffee, enjoy the coffee! Notice the wind. Feel the wind. Hear the wind singing! Experience the poetry of life! Zen is life lived in awareness.

Here’s a Zen poem.

Outwardly go along With the flow,
while inwardly keeping your true nature.
Then your eyes and ears will not be dazzled,
your thoughts will not be confused,
while the spirit within you will expand greatly to roam in the realm of absolute purity.
- Huai-nan-tzu

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