Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I’m thinking a great deal about closure today. Since the first week in November I’ve been traveling around Asia, and today marks my last week before flying home. During this trip, I’ve been careful editing my work-in-progress manuscript, focusing on only 5 pages per day, judging each word, every comma, striving for perfection. I have seven pages left.

So in light of completing two major events this week, I’m overjoyed and saddened. Both events, as with most things in life, were fun and interesting, and both moved me further along that path I travel.

I find that, as much as I crave starting something new, I can’t help clinging to what I have now. I suppose that is human nature, that is, true for almost everyone. As a Buddhist, I understand that letting go is key, perhaps even THE key, to happiness. Yet, as simple as that sounds, putting it into practice is far from easy.

Is it fear of the unknown? That somehow sounds too negligible. I mean, I certainly know what it’s like to live at home. It’s a place I love. It allows me to work at a much greater pace, have home-cooked meals, take pleasure in friends and family. The truth is I enjoy being at home as much as I enjoy traveling. And as for finishing a story, I’m actually thrilled, after two years of work, to be able to put this one aside and starting with another set of characters, settings, and situations. You would think I’d be chomping at the bit to be home. Yet, I’m not.

I’m guessing here, but I think it’s just basic fear, fear of change, any change, and I think that is human nature. Unless we are in a horrible situation, our nature is to resist anything different, much as we tell ourselves we need something new. The funny thing is – I’m reaching into my Buddhist roots again – change is constant. Life is continuously changing around us. To fear change is to be, at some level, forever in fear.

The only cure that I can think of for this is to live in the moment. To spend no time worrying about what has already happened, nor what will happen. No thoughts of hopes or regrets.

I’m reminded of a Sunday school lesson that Jesus talked about walking a narrow path to heaven. He said there were thorns on the right of this path, as well as the left. I believe he was talking about time. The path is now, and the thorns on the right and left are past and future. Both Jesus and the Buddha basically said the same thing, focus on the path of NOW, and that leads to heaven.

Sorry, I didn’t intend for this to turn into a sermon. I’m simply trying to understand myself, in an attempt to make sense of my life. Which may in itself be a foolhardy endeavor.

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