Thursday, 28 November 2013

Zen Thanksgiving

I don't have much admiration for people who say they have no regrets. They must be afraid, or incapable, of considering the things left undone. You can't walk every path; you can't even walk two paths. You can only walk one. And that leaves ten thousand wells undrawn, ten thousand shafts unmined, an infinity of wealth and wisdom unattained, no matter how much you manage to know in this narrow life .

Deploring your human limits is a form of gratitude.

As for me, I got almost none of what I wanted in this life. But if someone were to offer it to me – the loving wife, the children, the career, the physical security – against what I've had, I'd have to say:
ちょっと... Take the mountains I stood on? The rain watched through barn doors and windshields, the snow shoed in silence, the lightning sweeping upriver? My midnight moons, rolling seas, sifting sand, and all the calm and joy and passion?

I'll need an appraisal before I sign that deal. Because I've gotten so much. Unexpected, unbidden, unwanted sometimes, it's true. But gifted, as no woman, no employer, ever gifted me. Blessings tumbling from the sky, in every shape and shade. What's the exchange rate, unrequited for unsought?

Not enough. I'll keep what's mine, thank you. The unpaid, unenvied, and unimpressive. But, henceforward: no longer unheeded.

(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Friend Milton.)
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