Posts Tagged ‘karma’

Slow Lesson

1 August 2009

Dear J-

I suppose that if I see karma as being some kind of cosmic justice system I’ve missed the point; it’s not about smiting enemies, whether those I’ve held for long years or the yahoo who just cut me off on the freeway, it’s about knowing that good deeds are their own reward. Let the other guy be the jerk; I’m not the one who has to live with them or those actions, for the most part. I just tend to forget those calm words in the heat of the moment, but it’s not my job to enforce traffic laws, just to ensure that I drive safely and don’t put anyone into jeopardy, whether they’re riding in my car or not.

Some days I feel the fatalism more than others; perhaps, I think, perhaps it’s because I didn’t do this or that, maybe if I’d done things differently. It’s an excuse, like everything else. It’s more a question of taking responsibility again — the sooner I realize the truth behind serenity (accept the things I can not change, and the courage to change those I can) the sooner I can reject the rage that runs in a steady undercurrent and threatens to flood over me as a tsunami inundates the rational land.

Music or Gym 5068 -sm

Slowly, figgy’s teaching me what it takes; opportunities for patience, chances to turn from anger to answers and rewards, always rewards for the right way to handle it. I keep trying to remind myself that despite John Lennon’s reassurances, karma is not instant, neither effect nor reward. We may tote her around until our bones creak and our muscles fail; she may refuse to walk, or take a nap, or sit patiently for meals. It’s part of the compact we’ve made, and it’s the agreement we’ll keep; we may have miles and years to go, but we’ll remember everything, we’ll have to remember every lesson.

Mike

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Ridiculous Answer

18 August 2008

Dear J-

There’s all kinds of demands on your time, and the most important weapon you can use is the word no.  Can you attend this meeting for me?  Can you substitute for me in the emergency drill?  Can you do this for me?  I get so in the habit of listening that it feels like I never get to ask, or I merely hope that the yin balances out the yang, the karmic wheel revolves and by answering questions and saying yes when I can, everything I wish for comes true as well.  And what do I want?

They’re careful to treat me well at work lately; as the only person who’s allowed to do certain things, I’ve suddenly had a shift in my cog structure so that much of the procurement side revolves around me.  It’s not conceit; if I disappeared tomorrow, certain processes would grind to a halt.  My boss asked me today what I need.  And what I need, unfortunately, is not what anyone can necessarily afford to give me; it feels like the summer just started and still here we are staring down the back side of August, watching the slippery slope winding away on the greased path of back-to-school sales and fall fashions.  Things are changing quickly at work; there’s talk of implementing compressed work scheduled in less than a month, and I’m feeling numbly bemused.

You know, like it’s all happening to someone else.  I look at the screen at work about halfway through the day and wonder how that information made its way on there.  Who talks to us to gauge our temperature?  Who looks out for our welfare?  Ultimately, it’s me that has to answer for all the things I do, all the things I’m responsible for.  Bottom line, right or wrong, I’m the one saying yes — yes, wearily, but yes is unmistakably yes — and no one’s the wiser for not complaining.  Who’s more ridiculous?  The person asking, or the person permitting it to happen?

Mike