Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Truck Day Gives Me the Sniffles

No seriously! With all the dust in those boxes from goodness knows where, it's a wonder I haven't contracted SARS...yet.

When I know I'm scheduled for a truck shift at Pier 1, secretly I'm excited. I will groan and moan with the rest of the staff about how much stuff we have to unload and the truck driver who sweats all over us and I will mutter the occasional "Where the hell am I supposed to put this?" but inside, I'm squealing for joy.

You see, truck days are like Christmas for me. I get to spend all day opening up boxes of merchandise, smelling candles and playing my favorite game- "Where Can I Hide This?". Occasionally I'm rewarded with something as quirky as these golden "Yoga Frogs". Oh Pier 1!

But materialism aside, I like being able to work at work. I like having boxes to unpack, heavy furniture to move and something to get done. I like being able to completely immerse myself in that work. Mindfully (not mindlessly) opening boxes and unwrapping things gives my mind time to rest and gives me the opportunity to be fully present in the moment. This, I realized to day, is the secret to not breaking anything. (I'm horrible about breaking things. It's a miracle I still have a job some days.)

Moments of enlightenment and peace come to me not through sitting, but through doing. (Peanut butter sandwiches) Maybe unwrapping small Buddha heads for 2 hours isn't exactly sweeping the tatami mats at a Buddhist monastery, but it's as close as I'm going to get. And I love it.

So if you come to Pier 1 to see me on a truck day, chances are I won't be at the door to greet you. I'll be in a back corner somewhere, gently unwrapping Crisp Bamboo pillar candles and smelling each one before I set it in the wall.


Mark said...


carly said...

L: This was a post to Peter C. about epiphanies. I share it with you too:

To some degree, I have an epiphany each time I consult the Book of Changes. Tonight, I had a powerful dream. I dreamt I was fired from my office job because I was out of favor within the group and as I stood by the elevator to go down, I was a bit shaken, because I had nowhere to go. I awoke disturbed, went to the book, and asked this question, how does the dream explain my waking life?

I have been contemplating my artistic purpose as I lose my former profession and make my appearance in art. Through other epiphanies, I have learned the ultimate purpose is to bring the joy to the people which is necessary for joyous assent. In this movement in my case, two ideas are very interesting, gentle penetration and ceaselessness. Both are integral to gradual development in my endeavor. Also, I am aware that my favorite image in my work Is currently a crouching figure. And, because I am in transition, I am a wanderer.

Here begins the epiphany. The book replied: The Gentle, turning into Gradual Development. No surprise there, for after thirty years of use, I expect the utterly specific reply. I have learned there are no coincidences in my life. The epiphany was in deeper understanding of what these mean in terms of the dream and the connection to this moment in my life.


"57. Sun / The Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind)


Sun symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community, it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.

THE GENTLE. Success through what is small.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained. Small strength can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who is capable of creating order.


Winds following one upon the other:
Thus the superior man
Spreads his commands abroad
And carries out his undertakings.

The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the ruler's thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with it possible. For action without preparation of the ground only frightens and repels.

Nine in the second place means:
Penetration under the bed. (a divided line here, represents the legs of the bed)

At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with, then remove the influences.
The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their power over people."

And in this is the secret and form of the joy I, specifically might bring to the people. And the time is favorable for the movement. And this is different from Buddhism, in that movement, not standstill, is required and most appropriate.

What's more, in the commentaries on this movement, it reads:

"The firm penetrates to the middle and to the correct, and its will is done. The wanderer has nothing that might receive him. So, The Gentle means going into, or 'crouching'. (as if in a small cave) This gentle crouching succeeds in penetrating the nature of the influences to be dealt with. Through the gentle, one is able to weigh things and remain hidden. It is the exercise of character. (Again, different from Buddhism). Gentle penetration makes the character capable of influencing the outside world and gaining control over it. For thus one can understand things in their inner nature without having to step into the forefront oneself. Herein lies the power of influence. In this position, one is able to make the exceptions demanded by the time, without being inconsistent.

In issuing the commands, (art) it is all-important that they really penetrate the consciousness of the people, scattering the evil hidden in secret recesses, as the wind scatters clouds. And a second, still deeper penetration, to the depths of consciousness, where the hidden good must be awakened. To obtain this, the commands must be given repeatedly.

Here we have penetration of the realms of the visible and the invisible, whereby it becomes possible for everything to be set right."

This last touch, is another epiphany, because it jibes with my favorite quote by an artist, "to put the visible in the service of the invisible". Odilon Redon

This is also what Salvadore Dali did very well. Which may be another epiphany between you and I.

carly said...

L: This is different in that you tune in, not drop out, instead of our old hippie practice of drop out, tune in.

Like Buddhism, it takes a while for the meanings to fall in place in accordance with your life. It seems complicated and that's why most people don't pursue this system. And, it is complex. But, I now think so much within this context, that I often predict the words I am about to receive. So, it's a synchronous experience for me. One looks for correlations.

In my epiphany, the actual words, 'crouching' , 'wanderer', and the specific idea of a vision into dark influences, plus the visible and invisible idea leading to deep, good thoughts, were dead ringers for my thinking this past week. I even did a painting with a crouching male figure in it, nestled in the dark flowing hair of my muse. And a black moon.