What was shocking: I did not expect to get a real person on the other end of the phone. When a real person answered, my objections were erased. I realized, after hanging up, that I prefer to complain to machines.
I thought about everything I was unhappy with, or had any complaint about. I had told a machine about it. I sought them, their mailboxes, their blind email lists, the message servers twirling out there in vast computing cloud spaces.
So now when I have any complaint, I write it on my shoe and walk on it until it is worn away. Or I take it down on a piece of paper, and burn it. Or I tape it to a dollar bill, and spend it. Or I sing a song, and make it rhyme.
I find my complaints are going away. The ones that remain, are just enough to keep me going. What a remarkable and strange place to be. And why the second surprise? Do we all live our lives assuming to know one's self, often to the point of contempt -- but quite frankly, we live with a stranger?
When I fell in love with you, it happened quickly. By the time I was all the way in love, in a way that would hurt me keenly for several years, it was like I had taken a new book off the bookshelf of my head and said this looks like a nice story to read.
I heard the story of a woman who had a Zen teacher, and she confided in him how a recent breakup had hurt her heart to the core. He gave her some specific practices to do, like a short mantra to say, and a way to meditate on impermanence, and suffering in others,
He left and came back in a year, and when she saw him, she said she was still hurt over the ending of the relationship. He slapped her in the face, and said "Too long! Let go!"
Far from my home and my bed, the freeway was shut down last night, without any detours. I drove in neighborhoods and towns I barely knew, down long avenues without any traffic, seeing rows and rows of bright lights as far as my eyes could see.
Under the black sky, everything looked clean and golden, and the traffic-signals were always green, in any direction I wanted to go.