Sunday, June 1, 2014

Zen walking; indirect gifts

My kyudo shishou (pronounced "shee-so", the "ou" is just a long "O", and as he translates it, it means "mentor") has a blog just about the Zen of walking, at Zen Man Walking.

Another friend of mine summarized what he learned living in a Zen center as simply "Pay attention."

Well us MS [huge air quote] "walkers" really need to pay attention. To everything. Don't pay attention, and you may pull the TV off the shelf onto yourself and crack a rib (I did) or you may hit the ground and wind up crushing a wastebasket which may have cracked another rib (which I also did) or you may hit the ground and require the help of another person to drag you across the room to somewhere you can pull yourself up (which I also did).

For me, certainly, not paying attention... can end badly. Even when I am paying attention, it can end badly. But, as I'm paying attention as it ends, at least it ends... interestingly. Because every time I hit the ground, it happens differently. Not always a lot differently, but it's unique. Pay attention, indeed.

But in my [huge air quotes] "walking," I pay very close attention. Feet press against the ground. Sink into the earth, not by bending your knees but simply by sinking into the earth. Knees apart, keep them over the feet. When it's time to sit back down, keep the feet oriented correctly so that they catch/hold weight best for the direction I'm traveling. Or, if things ain't going so well, fall backwards into the wheelchair in "just the right way" so it, not the floor, catches me, and hang onto the Right Things to help guide my weight as it falls backwards, under control as best I can, into the wheelchair.

Pay attention, indeed.

And something else came to me this morning... from where, I don't know, Spirit? My Angels? A "leading," as my mother used to call such "visions"/impressions that came from... who knows where? But the message was simple.

Tell the truth... to yourself, about yourself.

As I'm typing this, I keep trying to use my right hand. In not much time, I stop using all five fingers (I'm on forefinger and thumb, right now), and shortly I stop using my right hand altogether.

I don't like this at all. I don't like making so many typing errors simply because my right hand mashes the keyboard, out of my control. I don't like being unable to express myself because my muscles have stopped working properly (or properly enough to express myself over the computer).

So, tell the truth to myself. I'll try to share it with you, since we're in the Blog-o-space...

I feel sad. I'm not finding my way to full-on "mourning" my loss of control, but sad... yeah, I'm sad.

Is there a way to work around this, to get some kind of device that lets, helps, me express myself? That, I don't know... yet. I hope to, someday soon. But right now... I've pretty much hit the wall. Did some business, made some tea, did the "bathroom thing" which is always an ... adventure, let's say politely... Is the pain starting? Is it time to bail? Dunno about that yet, but I have some small amount of (yuck) typing to do, I will make myself some tea and oh it's 12:30 maybe I'd better feed myself because body needs it but I really don't enjoy it much (as I've mentioned before, this is something that ain't worked out well so far) so I don't eat much and then I get weaker and other things happen and... well, no use going there today.

Today is commencement at the school for whom I used to work. They're using my music, but I'm not playing the organ. Second year in a row of not doing it, after forty years of doing it.

Well. the leg pain might be starting right now, it'll definitely have kicked in by showtime, and the last time I tried to sit merely at an organ--that organ in particular--I nearly fell off.

Don't need that. Hitting the ground and falling off things, I can do at home, see above... So, the show is happening without my direct personal intervention.

And that's fine by me. There may be, in circles I can only guess at, some differences of opinion about the [air-quotes the size of the Hindenburg] "correctness" of stuff I did for that school, but one thing everyone can agree on, I handed "my stuff" off really, really well.

An indirect gift of MS, it would seem.

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