Sunday, January 1, 2012


here are some things i think this blog will address:

1) something meaningful to write about everyday.

2) maternity and art.

3) everyday beauty.

4) work and career/success/remuneration--two totally different things.

5) accomplishment without ego.

6) focus without overdetermination.

7) cooking (because i spend much time providing food for people, and i enjoy it.)

8) legwear.

7) that tension between effort and effortlessness.

So, today's post deals with effort and effortlessness and a few times when effortlessness was achieved.

  • today i wore black tights and some shoes that required effort. in honor of 2012. in honor of making a new effort, and to remember the effortlessness of bare feet?
  • one day, i was practicing crow pose in yoga. i got my nose in the right place. after a year of effort, the pose was effortless. in the next practice, it required effort again.
  • my first poetry publication came next to a poem called "effortless". it consisted of its title, "effortless" followed by nothing(ness). followed by a blank page. it took a long time before i understood it. that editor, who published my first two poems, accepted 18 more poems for future publication. a year later, he returned them all to me, saying vintage press was requiring him to "reduce the backlog". i was 22, and i thought it would be effortless. i didn't publish again for many years.
  • lately i think a lot about a pattern in the zen koan. the student is presented with a problem. he thinks he has it solved right off the bat. he doesn't. he doesn't realize, at the moment of initiation, how little he has solved, how hard it will be to solve it. he wanders for something like forty years trying to solve the problem. he returns home, problem unsolved. when he is around 12o years old, he solves it, and can rest. effortless, no?
  • the student is always a "he". in my experience, the "she" can't/doesn't have unsolvable problems. most problems can be solved with her bowl of soup, or clean sheets. it's not that hard.
  • but still, it's a comfort that forty years of working on one problem is acceptable.
  • the seventies, with its orange terry cloth, yellow smiley faces, carol king, disco, skateboards, swimming pools, and turn tables, were good to me.
  • the eighties, not so much.
  • the nineties, which i spent largely in seattle, were great for me. black tights, chunky shoes, baby doll dresses, water, experimental opera, mushrooms, hildegard of bingen, low tides, & great, great, music, were good to me.
  • the zeroes were not.
  • this should be an "on" decade, if the pattern holds. or maybe that won't come until 2040. not sure if i need to think in decades or forty year increments.
  • in yoga last week, the yogi quoted pattahbi jois. student: "how do i achieve enlightenment?" pattahbi jois: "you do."
  • how do you keep doing? how do you keep doing?

No comments:

Post a Comment