Saturday, July 25, 2009
I'm at Dave's this weekend, hanging out with him and his dogs, Ernie and Ruby. We had dinner last night with my friend Bill in New Brunswick, and this afternoon we're heading over to the local dog park. I think we'll get some take-out for dinner and Dave plans to make an apple tart for dessert.
I love days like this, with no really urgent tasks and lots of leisure time. I guess this is more the kind of practice I'm looking for, rather than the retreat I wrote about in my last entry -- being aware of the beauty and perfection of a lazy Saturday with Dave and the dogs, with a walk to CVS to buy milk, with sunshine and the dog park..
By the way, I appreciate everyone's comments on that entry. I think Lorianne particularly hit the nail on the head when she questioned the tendency to think of practice in competitive terms, and pointed out that Zen is about practicing with what's there. I did write my teacher and tell her I planned to bow out of the retreat. She didn't argue the point -- just reminded me to keep practicing!
(Photo: E. 29th Street, July 2009)
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Jim and I have a term for the kind of lazy days you describe: "boring Midwestern married." (The Midwestern part referring to the fact that he's from Pennsylvania & I'm from Ohio: both far from the "hip" East coast.)
"Boring Midwestern married" days are the complete antithesis of the fancy "dates" people who are just getting to know each other go on, where you have to go DO things to impress one another. Once you're boring & married, you can "just" hang out. You don't have to go to fancy clubs or expensive restaurants; you can "just" walk the dogs, go out for cheap Chinese, or do other things that would seem completely dull compared to a fancy date.
When you're with someone special, even "boring" is fun...and it's far more sustainable than the fancy stuff you do to impress someone new. We laugh whenever we're out doing some "boring Midwestern married" thing and see some old couple puttering around, as comfortable together as an old, well-worn pair of shoes. Yep, that will be us in a couple decades...
Too bad you can't bring Armenia along to hang out with Dave and Ernie and Ruby. But she would probably be freaked out at the sight of the dogs. I'm not a cat person, so what do I know? She may relish the quiet of your apartment.
I'm glad you are learning to appreciate the meaning of the word LAZY. Your day sounds just about perfect to me.
sounds like lovely laziness
I don't think relaxing is the same thing as being lazy - or bored. It's a lost art for many 21st century dwellers which accounts for (to my mind) the prevalence of so many chronic ailments.
Your nervous system and your digestive system will be most grateful that you took a day to just chill. As your friend (and a health care worker), I salute you!
Ernie and Ruby are GREAT dog names. What kind of dogs are they?
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