Friday, September 7, 2007

Getting My Zen On

A Heavy Load

Two traveling monks reaced a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn't step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn't help her across the puddle.

The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn't thank the older monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.

As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, uable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn't even thank you!"

"I set the woman down hours ago," the older monk replied. "Why are you still carrying her?"

- excerpted from Zen Shorts by Jon Muth

As I drove to work today, I was verbally assaulted by a non-knitter that obviously didn't realize the sock in my right hand was only being worked on at long red lights. I was furious, mostly because I had to go through that whole adrenaline reaction thing one does when threatened. I didn't think about it at all while I was at work for three hours, but as I headed back to my car I began to contemplate how to handle the incident. I went through a series of steps:

1. Totally flaming pissed. Who did he think he was!? Darn hypocrite probably drives intoxicated, talks on his cell phone and drives, or picks his nose and scratches his balls instead of paying attention to the road. He certainly didn't have the traffic in front of him on his mind while he was screaming at me. I'm gonna rip out this guy's innards and post them on my blog.

2. Reflective. Maybe this man just had a really shit day and lost control of his filters. Maybe he forgot his meds this morning. Regardless, he's a muggle with no clue that it takes two hands to knit, and I don't exactly have a spare 3rd to drive with.

3. Not my job. This one took me a while to get to. The excerpt from above finally came back to me from a book I've been reading the little guy. No matter what this guy's issue, it isn't up to me to react, fix it, or get revenge. I plain old don't have to carry his anger.

There's a reason why zen is a life-long learning process.

* * *

For a while band-aids were a favorite of the little guy. Remember the three musketeers and their yellow forehead decos? Well, we've run out of them and so Little J has moved on to my panyliners. He has no idea where they actually belong, since I virtually never use them. Which means to him that they belong above the eyebrows as well.

* * *

Today was a yarn spree at Twisted! Loot:

Tofutsies in "Foot in the Door" colorway.

Kureyon in #40 for a Lizard Ridge-like scarf for a gift.

More Kureyon (#182) for Lizard Ridge blanket.

More sock yarn. Strawberry Fields Forever indeed.

While I was shopping and winding, I chatted with Shannon about various other things they were thinking of carrying and sock yarns we both liked knitting up. She's spoken with Claudia of Wollmeise and has found out that there may not be any more wholesaling of that yarn. Boohoo! I led her to Fly Designs Lacewing and Monarch, which I'm hoping they'll consider carrying. It was a great afternoon.


Yarnhog said...

You forgot #4: In the US, three out of every ten drivers have a gun in the car with them. Remembering that has really helped me deal with the inevitable bouts of road rage I experience as a driver in a congested Southern California city.

Sharon said...

Great Zen parable. Sorry that happened to you. Unfortunately, jerks are everywhere. The most important thing is to be safe.

Nice haul from Twisted, too!

Quail Hill Knits said...

Don't knit at lights in California. Law Enforcement considers being stopped at a light as still driving and you could easily find yourself on the business end of a ticket for being a distracted driver.

Quail Hill Knits said...

Hi Mel! Actually, the 1/4 inch extra won't affect the afghan at all as it is only 1/8 inch on each side the width of on stitch) and it can be eased together when mattress stitching the thing together. The squares are first stitched as strips, then stitched together to make the thing. It should be interesting.

jennifer said...

I LOVE this story! I have to constantly remind myself of this. I am a bike commuter in Chicago and constantly run into very rude drivers and other bikers that are reckless with my life. I have wasted many hours of my life being needlessly angry. It only hurts me. Hard thing to remember. I was much calmer when reading A New Earth. It helped me reach a much more content place. (unfortunately, anger returned after about a month or two).