Nothing like a birthday to make you review your year. Did I make progress? (What is progress?) Did I just keep my head above water? (What is survival?) I review this year, the first half of which was spent planning a trip to China, and the last half, recovering from it, and not much else. Well, actually, lots more, documented in both Tao 61s. (And a lot of undocumented shit.) But during this period of dark and new moons, I make a personal internal commitment to plan another trip.
I did observe this morning something that ordinarily would have outraged me, but today just made me sigh. I had been watching the blooming of a huge clump of aloe where I park my car over the past couple weeks. I watched the tall coral-colored blossoms (above) develop daily. I thought I had photographed it, but not. I regret that.
Today, a DoT worker was digging the entire clump out of the ground, to make room for some other "more attractive" plantings the building management wants to install.
I sighed. I may have been the only person who was watching the blossoming in the parking lot.
The deed is done. I can do nothing about it. I can only sigh. An in breath, an out breath.
But at the same time I had an interesting conversation with the DoT worker, a woman who seems attached to me, who is kind and open. She offered me a clump of the dug-out aloe, telling me how to process the plant for its juice. She had no choice but to dig it up. We both agreed that the building manager is a bitch.
I am thinking of equanimity. The aloe comes and goes. People do what they have to do. Friends arrive and disappear. There is no progress. Only survival.
I think I must focus my practice on achieving equanimity. I may be making progress.