It’s a gray, foggy Monday morning after a beautiful weekend. Maybe that’s a kindness on mother nature’s part so people will think, “ah hell, the weather sucks, might as well go into work.” Or it could just be part of a corporate-politico conspiracy to get us to toe the line and obey . . .. or it could just be a typical Bay Area summer morning. I think I’ll go with the latter. Life is too short to be making up shit to make oneself crazy.
This morning I stopped feeding the Princess breakfast in bed (OK, breakfast in the living room by her ottoman) since she now has the strength to walk her geriatric ass into the kitchen. It’ll be good for her. Hopefully, most of her infection has cleared, so now that leaves the arthritis and kidney failure.
I still believe I did the right thing by not going to England. But, despite the flooding there and the horrible exchange rate, I am still sad that I am missing Summer Festival. Just to firmly entrench myself in this longing, I found some pictures online of happy people enjoying past festivals. Festival is a very special time. Where else can you have a couple of thousand people crammed one on top of another in the meditation hall, or standing in line (or “queueing up” since Brit-speak is more the norm) waiting for bad food, yet everyone is pleasant and polite. For the duration of the festival, you live in a bubble. Work is forgotten, home is a distant memory and the news becomes a non-issue. Even though there may be a TV in your room, it is never turned on. You simply abide in the bubble and soak in the blessings. That is, if you can get past some of the discomfort of the constant crowds, queues, mediocre food and roommates. While most of this discomfort dissolves after a day or two, it’s still there and it takes effort to overcome.
Yet, I am longing for the idealism of Festival. Thousands of people coming together with the intent of becoming Buddhas for the sake of all living beings. Being with people who have a wish to overcome their chronic and habitual self-concern and learn how to care for all others in a deep and open way. We live on a crowded planet and we have to learn to get along despite sometimes difficult conditions. And Festival helps us model that and be able to see how it could be if everyone practiced kindness, patience, generosity sprinkled with a wee bit of wisdom.
It’s a beautiful thing.