Monday, September 22, 2014

A Mixed Message

A group of us left the Monastery early (my stay there ended with a three-day, silent retreat) to drive down to the city so we could attend the People's Climate March.  Was it a bit bizarre to go from silence and a monastic setting to the streets of New York, crowded with 400,000 other people?  I will just say that I may have had a moment where I collapsed on someone slightly saying, "why must Zen training be so hard?!"  Beyond that moment of doubt that I could enter the fray on so little sleep, I would suggest that it might actually be just the right way to do it.  It certainly helped with any overly ernest notions or ideals that I have had about the whole thing.  Because, let's face it, if you can't have a sense of humor after three days of listening only to your own thoughts rolling through your mind, over and over and over,'s a hard life, indeed.

My own attempts at smartphone photography were, as one of my fellow marchers put it, sucky.  So I am borrowing one from the Associate Press.

It was big.  It was peaceful (no arrests!).  It felt...good.  What will happen today and tomorrow and the next day?  I guess that remains up to us.  For me, it was a boost to not give up on a direction that often feels like a wearying swim against the tide.  Maybe the best message of the day was: you are not alone. People care.  Lots of people care, a lot.

Meanwhile, shifting gears (non-combustable gears, of course), I bought some stuff!

Yes, I am a proud subscriber.
Some week's ago, the wonderful Alabama Chanin was having a sample sale.  Her DIY kits are normally priced way out of my range (we won't even talk about her ready-to-wear), but she does have big sales now and then when the price creeps just barely into range.  I do love everything about Alabama Chanin - the goal of sustainability, the way she respects her workers' talents and skills, and the fact that she creates beautiful things and then shares how to make said beautiful things with anyone willing to take the time and energy to make them.  Ok, you have to have the time, energy and a little cash in your bank account, but like I said, she has good sales a couple of times/year.

My kit has arrived.  Now to muster up the time and energy part of the equation.

So there you have it - marching for the planet with a dash of consumerism.  It's a mixed up world we live in!

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