The past week was a bit of a struggle frankly. It felt like I was running uphill, through toffee, in heels and carrying a watermelon. There were no answers when I asked the questions. There was no rebate on what was taxing me. There was no explanation for the plates shifting under my feet. When that happens I usually put my head down and get on with things. But the builders were bang-bang-banging on the walls, the dog’s stomach was growling sickly, he was depositing streaky blood poop, and my phone was ringing every few minutes with “where’s my delivery” queries. The research I did for a project was thrown out with no explanation, I regrouped, restarted and got a new set of results only to have the person call – triumphant from a board meeting: “they loved the original site – let’s lock it down!” A result, yes. Wasted time, wasted energy, waste of space …that too.
But mostly – me with my ego-wheels spinning.
But that’s not all – I only made it to yoga once, there’s family drama. My car needs a service and two new tyres. There are no airmile tickets to London. I’m carrying a few more pounds than I should, my clothes look and feel frumpy and I had to pull a ball of hair and fat from the drain with my hands. And as a soundtrack to it all – the bang bang banging. It seemed too damnd hard. I was thoroughly sick of it all. But more than that – I was sick of me.
And then, just because the universe likes to remind me to shut the hell up sometimes: a friend posted this on Facebook. And I leant in.
Happy Tuesday to you all. May you be the lake.
“An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” said the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,
“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
(Image of woman walking from the sea Jack Caffrey, other two found uncredited)