Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.
- Leo TolstoyI went to the book store the other night.
I was picking up my son at a friend’s house at 9pm,
so I decided to drop into a local book store
for a bit before I picked him up.
My mind’s been going a little crazy lately –
all over the place.
So when I walked into Chapters that night,
here's what was going on in my head:
So I'm back at work. Again.
If i know I don't fit in there,
why do I keep going back?
For the same reason everyone else works.
I can’t believe Donald Trump made it this far.
I'm afraid terrorism has become the new normal.
So much anger in the world.
I miss mom…
I think back at when she was in the hospital,
and how much she suffered.
Life isn't always easy.
I wish _____ didn't drink so much.
I wish _____ was more at peace with himself.
I’m so happy _____ met _____.
They seem so good together.
I think it takes a lot of courage to divorce.
Some couple just shouldn’t stay together.
They start out ok, but something happens along
the way & they lose one another.
Too many people stay together
for the wrong reasons.
I loved that movie we watched
about Jean-Michel Basquiat.
I love that he did his own thing.
I hate that drugs took over his life
and we lost him much too soon.
I wonder if I'll ever "make it" as an artist?
And what does that really mean anyway?
To be in a gallery?
To be known?
To die young & tormented?
I'm so happy I have writing and art.
Being an artist is more about
how you feel on the inside
than about what happens on the outside.
It's about knowing your heart.
What more needs to be said & done?
So I walk into Chapters
with these thoughts flying through my head
like birds around a branch
and I stop at the first table I see.
Books on meditation and well-being and yoga.
Not books I would normally look at.
I pick up a small book by Thich Nhat Hanh,
the Vietnamese Buddhist monk,
on brush painting.
I flip to a page,
and I see these beautifully
hand brushed words:
a cloud never dies.
And all at once,
my mind was quiet.
I began to picture a blue sky,
with a slow moving cloud…
the way it moves and changes
and rearranges itself in the sky
– and then it slowly dissipates.
At one point,
it is there
and moments later
it is gone.
I stood there with the book in my hands,
staring at the beautiful,
simple brush strokes…
imagining his hand writing
these few simple words
that said so much me
in that one moment.
My thoughts dissipated
just like the cloud.
And I understood.
All of the buzzing in my head
only moments before
no longer mattered.
It never had.
Life is suffering
and frustrating at times.
But it is also beauty and truth and love.
These opposites always co-exist
and always will.
I can choose to go against the tide – or with it.
I can choose to see only darkness
or to see both light & dark.
I can choose to be the suffering,
or I can choose to be the dissipating cloud.
I much prefer being the cloud.
Thank you all for being here.
Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!