Are We Having Fun, Yet?

Are you having fun, yet?

Ma keeps asking me that. I tell her how the writing is going, she asks me if I’m having fun doing it. I tell her about the tsunami of home repair, she asks if I’m having fun. I tell her about having the wrong leg amputated leading to becoming a double amputee, and she asks if I’m having fun.

Am I having fun?

Well, no.

*blinks* But I’m writing. So I’m having fun.

Nope.

*boggles* But–

–I feel good when I write
–and feel good after I’ve written
–and think about what I want to write
–and even like to read what I write
–it’s always fun, so–

–why am I not having fun?

Here’s where I take a deep breath, so that I can sigh dramatically and enumerate the infinite progression of drear that makes it impossible for anyone of sanity, taste, and responsibility (oh, that word) to enjoy his life. Afterward, I can lean heavily on the table and, sadly, note that I would be having fun, if.

Oh, how sad.

Let us roll back time to last week, because I never begin where I ought.

Last Wednesday, I went to a zendo and took instruction is sitting. I suspected, from a variety of hints in my behaviors, that I would be fairly good at it. In fact, I was. In nothing flat, my head was empty of anything but the passive awareness of gravity, my breath, the texture of the wall in front of me…quiet. Afterwards, there was discourse on Dharma and it’s ways.

In this discourse, zazen was characterized over and over as “just doing one thing.” Leaving, I felt comfortable and happy and relaxed. Calm. Clear. I’m unlikely to become a follower of the Eightfold Path; I like desire, I enjoy sensuality, and, if there is infinite rebirth for those who Just Don’t Get It, I want it. How unenlightened. But. I clearly got much from the zendo. What?

Well, duh, I wasn’t doing anything else. I wasn’t writing, wasn’t taking care of anyone, wasn’t cleaning or cooking or repairing or anything at all. Just sitting. When I began to think, I stopped and attended to the sitting. All the rest could happen later without bothering with it just then.

I did. One thing. Only.

When I write, I think about auto repair. When I’m working on auto repair, I think about what’s to do at work tomorrow. At work, I list the myriad things that Must Be Done at not-work. Even when I take time to rest, I do so while pondering things that are not-resting.

I do. Many Things. And am unhappy doing so.

Am I having fun, yet? I did, at the zendo. I did, for about 36 hours after, in the afterglow.

Why is writing at the carrels working for me? Because there is nothing else to attend to, there. I am doing One Thing.

And I’ve enjoyed it.

*forehead slap*

So. There it is, a fairly monumental thing that I’ve not noticed. I even understand why I didn’t notice. Now that I have, I shall try something new, without weeks of moaning and analyzing.

I’ll just do whatever I’m doing.

And that’s all.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

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