05 October 2011

Been Down So Long, It Looks Like Up to Me

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Forgive an old man for going on and on about his health concerns. You too will reach such a day; all you must do is live long enough. My leg problem is almost cleared up, although the doctors don’t know if it was thrombosis or what. For over a month I have had soreness and swelling in my lower leg and foot, and that meant not walking for exercise. At one point I was using a cane just to get around the house. For me, to stop marching/ rambling/ wandering afoot is to stop living in the complete sense.
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But things are looking up. My walking distances and speeds have come close to normal in the last week, and I’m approaching the rigor of true Marching. “Left, Right, Left, Right. One, Two, Three, Four, I love the Marine Corps!” Ooh rah!
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Today I have been sitting outside in the shade all afternoon, trying to keep our cat, Silly Willy, from major mischief. He is a full-grown neutered male who sleeps indoors most of the day and night, but sometimes he fancies himself to be a great wild tiger hunter and goes after birds outside. It is his nature and it doesn’t bother me, but my wife and other more traditional Buddhists in the household believe in literal rebirth and in the karmic consequences of actions in this life following on into the next rebirth. In short, they do not want to see Willy murder birds or mice lest his rebirth after this life places him in a lower realm of being. I am a total skeptic about any survival of death, but I like their (metaphorical) point a bit – as an aesthetic musing.
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So I have been thwarting Willy’s attempts at murder. He – being a cat – concealed himself well behind obstacles while intently watching some pigeons feeding nearby. One could sense his feline tension, wound up tight for the kill. I tried to scare the birds away by waving my arms and throwing water at them, but the dumb things ignored me. Finally, I picked Willy up high so they could all see him and said, “Cat! Cat!” The birds scattered, and Willy kept his good karma intact for the time being although he was not happy with me. Ah, we all just wallow through samsara as best we can.
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-Zenwind.
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