Sunday, October 02, 2005


A Zombie in the Game

I haven't posted anything in a week. I've had to revert to my old profession of finish carpentry during this last week in order to pay the bills and to subsidize my writing vision. It's difficult to switch back and forth anymore like I used to. The writing has taken on too large a life and has its own needs. As I discovered that I was indeed a writer I also found out that writing is indeed my life's work. Writing creates a great sanity within me in the midst of this chaotic, violent world. Writing is actually my greatest self-discipline, my path. From this vantage point I can look at my own life and its foibles with equinimity and consider the chaos and violence with compassion.

Several years ago I was discussing some social issues with one of my classes. Some of the girls were into their eating-each-other-alive habits and I wanted to make some points without pointing fingers. Paraphrasing Rodney King I said something to the effect of, "Why can't we just get along?" One of the girls in class, one of the Queen Bees, raised her hand and said, "But that would be so boring!"

She is a nervous, hyperactive person from a household wracked by bitter divorce and venom. It's difficult for her to be with herself for very long. Boredom is just a way of saying that she can't bear her own company. She shreds those around her to live off the adrenaline and to avoid that kind of boredom. We are all like that in many ways. We all have our ways of avoiding our own company, of avoiding the consideration of ourselves with some grace and compassion, the looking deeply into the places that we'd rather avoid.

There are so many of us like that, that we elect leaders to mirror our avoidance. We have a President who would rather despoil the environment and and lead brutal wars than to confront his boredom and discomfort with himself, to face the things that had made him an addict and alcoholic. When I see him on TV, I see some of my hyperactive junior high boys who are unable to really focus and be here, unable to grasp subtlety. He is but a glorified zombie in the game.

We all have to wake up. How much do you want to be more than just a zombie in the game we have created? A Zen Master once awakened to knowing by just hearing a bird call from outside the meditation hall. What will it take for you? Gaw!

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