Life is rough sometimes. Good or bad, just keep on waking up and living. Life gives us each moment to be here, to greet it. It's up to us to open our arms and accept the river as it hits us. Fighting upstream is good now and then, shaking things up, demanding others to take a second look. But if all we do it push against the current, we'll drown before we have a chance to make any change.
A bare stand of trees
Marked, lonely, littered, barren
Even in Hell, Joy.
Also, starting my bread making journey this week. We shall see how this transpires.
But my happiness? I don't think so. Truth is, we are each the architect of our own happiness. Zen says there is no where we can be but where we are at this moment. Indeed, the next moment is up in the air - it is a world full of possibility and we always have the chance that our lives will change. Nothing guarantees that I won't receive a call about my billion dollar inheritance. Nothing also guarantees I won't receive a call about the death of a loved one. Neither are terribly likely I think. But anything's possible. We may lift ourselves out of the mire and into the light or choose to stay in the muck and wallow in complete happiness. Really, the only person who designates whether we are content or not is us.
I have friends much wiser than myself. More often than not I put myself up on the High Horse of Zen. "Oh... you trying to speak to me about Zen? Don't you know I practice Zen?" Well, sure, I can sit still for a bit longer than the average person, but really everyone else lives life more than I do. I sit and fantasize about the future, anticipate the downturns, wallow in self-pity from time to time. Everyone else just does them, so who is more ignorant? The man who gets up each morning and chops wood, or the man who gets up each morning and wishes he didn't have to chop it?
I try to worry about the future less and less; I want to be a professor, I want to help the environment, I want to have a garden and a small home with some books in it, and I want to see nature from my window. The rest is up to life and my interaction with it. It will be a grand, graceful, stumbling, dance.
The above being said: Life will not work out as I plan. I can guarantee it. But I cannot be anyone else than me. I cannot be anywhere else than where I am. I cannot be anything but now. So when now sucks, why not just be with it? Pushing the river, trying to force it back up the mountain only tires us to the point of drowning. Better, I think, to just enjoy the ride through all the shallow sun-lit pools and rapids.