Not So Zen


I suspect that I’m frivolous.

Or shallow, at the very least.

Easily swayed by immediate gratification.

There’s this whole idea that if you enjoy the gratification of doing something well, then that’s ego and dangerous to continue.

So, for example, knife-throwing. I know! Exactly what you were thinking, too, right? If you’re truly Zen, or one with the Tao, or enlightened or what have you, then you enjoy the moments that you miss the target just as much as when you hit the bulls-eye. The thrill of a perfect throw means nothing, if you’re truly throwing the knife from a pure heart. The act of throwing is everything. The end result nothing.

Clearly I’m not so enlightened.

I confess to loving the gratification. And I find myself gravitating towards whatever’s giving me the most gratification at any given time.

Right now, it’s work. I’m workin on a project that I helped to create. That I set out years ago to help envision, hire the personnel for, plant the seeds in peoples’ ears — kind of a gross mixed-metaphor there — and coax into life. And people treat me like I’m insightful and they want my expertise.

I know I shouldn’t want it.

But I do.

A couple of areas of my life feel less gratifying right now. One I’ve labored at and some people are unhappy and others are happy for things to go smoothly. Which isn’t a recipe for feeling appreciated. You get flak from the one group and nothing from the other.

And we all know that writing is one of those things where you labor unnoticed for 99% of the time and are showered with admiration for the other 1%. Starving in a garrett and all that. Much more drama than anything else.

There’s supposed to be a pleasure in knife-throwing that exceeds the desire for a perfect result. Peace in the moment. Joy in the attempt.

But, oh my, I just love it when I hit the bulls-eye.

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