Renewal Fifteen : One Does Zen To Not Do Zen

On the other hand…

Given about 24 hours, even though I didn’t get my running in, I had the thought that I might have a bit of a silver lining here, at least relative to a relationship with a woman. I haven’t been doing very well, but I may be getting it a little faster.

The first woman I was with for nearly 20 of 23 years. Despite many hassles, with all things considered, I got out pretty unscathed. And I got to keep my children.

Because of other considerations and to avoid potential problems in the long run, I agreed to accept very little in child support (single fathers were not so common and the courts were prone to side with the mother–probably still are). I had a long road to go with two of the three and the support never changed, but, somehow, it worked out.

The second woman I was with for only about eight years before I caught on. We had a prenuptial and I was out clean. She worked hard and really wound up making some money and was not afraid to contribute to the cost of living. And she was, and is, generous (to this day she still gives gifts to my children). With her, it was an emotional issue that seemed to be the problem. I could never do enough to assuage her insecurities. And besides, it seemed to me that she was only comfortable in dealing with new relationships, or with relationships kept at a distance.

The third woman and I never even made it for five years. She was strong, but mostly, it seemed to me, stuck in illusion. It seemed like she tended to imagine that the idea of a thing or a feeling was the same as the actual thing or the actual feeling. In any case, there would have been some real problems if I’d have stayed with her.

This rendition is not to say that all three women are now what they used to be (as I saw it anyway). Perhaps things have, or will, change, perhaps not. In any case, it seemed clear to all involved at the time (and now I think), that there was little that would change if we remained together.

In any case, despite my withdrawal and depression, I have survived all three relationships pretty well.

Of course, my kind of foolishness and my kind of illusion cannot be dismissed. I’m actually like a cat with nine lives, I’ve been very, very lucky. The trick is to quit using up my allotted lives.

So, today, even with not being able to figure out my new computer (which I’m now typing on), despite my being told how user friendly it is (is anything really user friendly?), and with some more amazing political crap at work (nothing seems familiar at work—it is as though I will not be there for long), and after yesterday’s emotional roller coaster ride, I’m actually breathing a sigh of relief. Another relationship bullet has been dodged, and I’ll recover.

Of course I’m 54. That’s funny. If this keeps up, I will have spent an entire lifetime devoted to learning something that seems very simple, even if I am not getting it.

Stupid user’s manual–it’s just not user friendly.

There is a saying in Zen Buddhism as I understand it: one does Zen to not do Zen. I guess I’m doing spewing to not do spewing.

For now, the Pleistocene era may live on, but the nervous system free fall has abated. I’m left wondering about the impact of moods and the relationship of emotions to memory and transformation. I suppose I’ll have to forgo being addicted to drama, or to just do that until I don’t.

Pretty silly, but learning to do lucid dreaming is no easy task for one accustomed to dismissing a huge chunk of experience as nothing much.

What do we wake up from, and into again?

Perhaps we have our waking and dream lives confused with each other.

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