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Daily Archives: October 17, 2013

Thank you

Sometimes it takes time for wisdom to appear. This is an incredible koan for me to hold close and remember when I am impatient.

Dr Bill Wooten

After a long and arduous journey a young Japanese man arrived deep in a forest where the teacher of his choice was living in a small house he had made. When the student arrived, the teacher was sweeping up fallen leaves.  Greeting his master, the young man received no greeting in return.  And to all his questions, there were no replies.  Realizing there was nothing he could do to get the teacher’s attention, the student went to another part of the same forest and built himself a house.  Years later, when he was sweeping up fallen leaves, he was enlightened.  He dropped everything, ran through the forest to his teacher, and said, “Thank you.”

– John Cage sharing an old Zen story in his book Silence


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The Rest

I struggled for sometime with the concept of being retired, so to speak. I reflected on the concept. The etymological roots of retire come through the French–retirer–which connects with the idea of shoot, throw, and draw. It means to re-shoot or start over again which has a much different meaning than I had applied before. I am starting over, but with much support and it is a good place to be. It is good to begin this part of the journey without reservation which is the way I am fashioning retire today.

Lawrence Rabb wrote of waiting because we are too young and not doing because we are too old. My current concept of retire looks at the possibility that lies ahead.

You’ve tried the rest,

You’ve waited long enough.

Everything catches up with you.

And you’re too old,

or too young.

Or you don’t have the money

or you don’t have the time.

Maybe you’re shy, and maybe

you’re just afraid.

How often have you heard it,

have you promised

yourself you’d try

something really different

if you had a chance?

Though you can’t help but wonder

if all those people

know what they’re doing, now

you’re saying it with them:

Eventually everything

catches up with us,

and it starts to show.

We’ve waited all our lives, or as long

as we can remember, whichever

is long enough.

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