Archived entries for

perfectly imperfect

Two Wednesdays ago, as I was looking for an image of Mu Qi’s “Six Persimmons” to attach to that week’s essay, I began typing “the six per…” into Safari’s search bar. The first suggested connection was “the six perfections.” The universe speaks in many ways. Like an embarrassed woman bumping into someone to whom you have owed a thank you note for a looong time, I recalled where I had first seen these words, how much they had taught me, and how little I had been attending to them of late. I had to admit that in the last several months, while I was initiating this blog about my spiritual path and practice, I had started to slide on actually practicing it. Oh Yeah! Spiritual practice! Something you DO! I DO have one, really! It’s around here, somewhere. On my desk, I think… right under those bills, that rough draft, these books. You know.

Six years ago, as I began the long walk across a soul’s ocean floor that is divorce, three books by American-born Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön were constant friends on my bedside table for four years thereafter—When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, and Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. These very easy reads about very tough things first gave me oxygen, then the space for a deep breath with which to breathe it, and then a complete re-conception of our existence, our purpose, and our potential for happiness, enlightenment, whatever you want to call it… with clear and practical, if not always comfortable, instructions included!

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forgiveness or death

I googled forgiveness. I really needed to. Forty and just now arrived at the implosive conclusion that I had to get divorced, I was at an emotional precipice in 2004. With two beloved daughters, only five and not quite eight years old, I could clearly see how far we all could fall if I didn’t get this just right. Only thanks to nearly twenty years of asking again and again, really, what is the truest truth I can honor was I barely able to admit to the uncomfortable fact that the only common denominator in all of my life’s suffering was… me. That no one else could release me from any suffering. That I could wring neither change nor retribution out of anyone, and that such more common efforts and explosions would change nothing anyway. That THE ONLY THING I could do to do this right was to change myself. To simply, and profoundly, let go of all pain… to forgive.  But HOW?

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wrong the rights

Six Persimmons.”  “No, Five.”  “No, SIX.”  “FIVE.”  “The SIX Persimmons.”  “FIVE PERSIMMONS… and no ‘THE’!”

I was right. There were six. And, I was wrong. To even bother arguing about it. With a lover who was a gift and a wide-open door in my young life, no less. Oh, but I was the one who had taken the course on Asian Art.  I had studied this, the most revered ink painting in all of Zendom, in detail. I had oohed and aahed over those six perfectly imperfectly executed blobs of produce many times. The fact that the only thing worth meditating upon all this time, and all that this man was attempting to share with me, was Beauty… well, needless to say, I blew right past that on my way to Being Right.

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the blog of Anne Elizabeth Wynn. Copyright © 2004–2010. All rights reserved.

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