Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, February 28, ‘12

I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself.
Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.

Michel de Montaigne, author, philosopher; he was born
on this date, 1533, near Bordeaux, France

Silver City NM. The Weather Channel app on my iPad (it has an opening picture of a wonderful sunny meadow, which always cheers me) said “Sunny”. However, the sky is full of dark gray clouds. C’est la vie. I might have known; my sinuses started draining … a sure sign of changing weather. For a couple of days, a bag of birdseed has been sitting outside. This morning, when I went to put the garbage bin out by the road, the bag was empty and the chair on which it had been sitting was five feet away and upside down ….. hmmm: wonder what animal that was! And, finally, the birds have found the feeder I hung in a bush outside our bedroom window. The Chipping Sparrow has trouble – the perches are too small; but the Juniper Tit did just fine (first one I’ve seen in NM). The tea is still hot under the cozy, and the toast from the bread I made yesterday is unexpectedly delicious (with good old Earth Balance spread from good old Trader Joe’s) … so on the scale of things, Life is Good.

Thinking honestly about it, I have to admit that I have cared too much in my Life what others thought of me. I cared that I was called a sissy in school. I cared about not wearing stripes when I was at college, because I was fat and thought stripes made me look worse. I cared how my habit looked when I was a monk, because I wanted people to note how svelt I was having gotten to 145 pounds. I wore black shirts all the time to disguise (I thought) the huge bulge of two abdominal hernias until they got repaired – and that was only a few months ago. I dyed my beard until recently, hoping that people would think I didn’t look my age.

All the while, I thought that I was following the wise advice of Montaigne and caring more about what I am to myself … and of course in some instances, I have done that. But the balance has not been “right”, I see now.

But! I have learned something along the way. I have learned that there is no point in giving the Past too much power … learned to just acknowledge and move on. And I have learned that 90% of events are not governable … which has taught me what it means to find one’s place in the web of Being. I’m still working on the “govern myself” part - a lifetime work for all of us, I think … but I do know that the more I am authentically myself, the easier it is. What is false always evades governing. Surprise!

Well: off to shave and shower, do my daily 1.5 mile walk, and keep my appointment with my new cardiologist.

I really hope you have a day where you feel "at ease" with the World.


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