Monday, March 7, 2011

MAYBE AND MAYBE NOT

It’s winter gray outside today.  February has always seemed like I-40 between Gallup and Flagstaff, an endless flat expanse of dirty blue and tan.  Even the chemtrails are a welcome design break.  I’m waiting but I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I haven’t successfully fixed anything in my life of late.  Nothing in my world is allowing itself to be fixed. Each time I make an attempt to cut back on expenses or save money something unexpected comes up to undo my efforts.  Last week I broke the TV when two cables collided while I was trying to hook the laptop up to download movies.  I have an extended warranty, thankfully but as usual my attempt to save on DVD rentals turned into an extra expense. For awhile PQ will have to watch his movies on a little computer monitor.

 I’m beginning to believe the message from the universe is to quit trying to fix things.  Or perhaps I’m trying for the wrong reasons even though my motivation was a desire to be realistic. I'm beginning to doubt that realism works for me. Usually I do well with electronics but lately even mechanical and electronic things I've tried to fix turn out worse than they were and I have to struggle just to get back to the situation I started with. It’s a slow accent up a muddy slope, and then a slide back to the beginning. I’m attempting to take control of my life and find my way back to the main trail, but I’m lost. I suspect that there is something out of my normal range of consciousness that is trying to grab my attention with these tricks but my ego is struggling to set things right while making a bigger mess out of everything it takes on. 

So here I am broken down on a boring expanse of road between a start and a destination. However this analogy falters because the location of the destination is unknown. Now I’m remembering the Maybe story:
 “There once were two old farmers who had a fence between their property.  Every morning farmer A would meet farmer B at the fence and they would exchange news and gossip, as neighbors do.  One day farmer B’s best horse jumped the fence and ran away in pursuit of a band of wild horses. Upon hearing the news, farmer A came to visit. “Such bad luck,” he said sympathetically. “Maybe,” farmer B replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbor exclaimed, now you have four horses and they look young and strong.  “Maybe,” replied the old man. The following day, his son decided to train one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg.  Knowing that farmer B was getting old and needed his son’s help, the neighbor came to offer his sympathy on this misfortune. “I’m so sorry those wild horses were bad luck after all”, he exclaimed. “Maybe,” answered farmer B.  Very soon after this misfortune, two military officials came to the village looking for young men to draft into the army. Seeing that the old farmer’s son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. Farmer A congratulated farmer B on how well things had turned out after all. “Your son would be drafted and you’d never have any help on your farm if his leg had not been broken,” said farmer A.  “Maybe,” said farmer B. An so the story continues…

This story has been attributed to Sufis, Taoists and sometimes Zen Buddhists but the vagueness of its origins fit its gist quite well. Every time I find life seemingly stuck or wonderful I remember this story.

Some people see this in a fatalistic way but each unpredictable event has both a positive and negative side. Who is to say which is the most important in our life path.  It happens on a universal level as well.  With all the horrible things people have inflicted on each other and their fellow creatures and the disasters that nature surprises us with there are both positive and negative effects.  I’m not downplaying the suffering and destruction that all creatures experience in their journey through time, but it is not the only side to any reality. Since we experience our life sequentially through time rather than as a whole we can only take it as it comes to us. It’s important not to make an absolute judgment on individual events until the whole story is told, and the secret is, the whole story is never told.