It is not sunny. Pieces of a to-do list keep bursting into my head and making me stand there thinking, instead of moving into the next yoga pose. I could’ve gotten up earlier today, really. And then gotten out of bed sooner, actually. We are out of milk, and everything, because my roommate didn’t go grocery shopping. And she is the easiest person in the world to live with, by the way—how will I ever live with a partner? Here I am, again, on a thought, and forgetting which pose is next. And why don’t more people know about the boycott against Coca-Cola for killing trade unionists in Colombia? And I really do need to sweep the house before the meeting here tonight.
And then there is the sitting still for a while, with a rakusu, cross-legged. Then I put a few dollars in my pocket and pull on my red suede Medellin boots and walk a block to the 24 Liquor Grocery, which is not actually open twenty-four hours a day, but is open on Monday at seven AM, which it is. On the walk, I am surprised by the pleasure of breathing, of breath entering and leaving, and by the pleasure of walking, of my muscles moving. It is not so cold out, and the birds go on and on and on, like it’s springtime, which maybe it is.
We are not going to fail at our lives, you know.
I will lead a very interesting life. I will be very alive. I will enjoy it very much. I will keep doing my best—but my best to be kind, to all beings, starting with this one right here.
I will remember this; and I will forget it again. And I will remember and forget and remember and forget. Just like we return to our breath in zazen, I will return to this being at home in myself, to being relaxed and joyful, and to curiously relishing the unfolding of this life.
(Sarah Weintraub is the Executive Director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.)