I’m not really kidding


Back in the years when I sat in a transpersonal meditation circle on a regular basis, Gurdjieff was quoted now and then to address the problem of difficult personality. We were reminded that a disruptive, unlikable person was as “yeast to the bread”.

Walking Finn just now, I wondered with a kind of Irish gallows humor, “What happens to the dough when there is more yeast than flour?”

And more to the point of today, tomorrow, and next week, “Is there anything I can let go of here, in an act of sanity-preserving desperation?” At some point, it is sheer masochism to continue with these patterns.

A sensei I once practiced Aikido with gave his students this idea: “Form your purest intention as you step onto the mat, but don’t for a second think you can practice without your personal history. Everybody brings their shit onto the mat.”

With that in mind, it seems I might work at owning my shit and letting the rest go (right Michelle?) Phew! I hope it isn’t too much to ask that said work produce some relief? Not just more slogging through? I’m going to read Gurdjieff today after writing class. That is my consecration.

Oh, and one more piece of dark humor: dealing with difficult stubborn people (with a pronounced bent on making me wrong) does in fact have a silver lining. It makes my stubborn nasty side look pretty benign.

That image is a picture of a partial picture of a quilt, collaged with paper ephemera to make a card.

6 thoughts on “I’m not really kidding

    1. deemallon

      well, I lost a little time going up to Montreal, moving C home and settling the house (dr.’s appts to set up, boxes of stuff to find places for, etc.). But it wasn’t a critical slow down. My writing actually satisfies these days and the end is starting to come into view. The gaps in the chapters are getting filled in, inconsistencies resolved, the story line sharpened. Of course I don’t know if it will be any good, or if it will be published, but it will get finished. One friend is now reading chapters for me and a neighbor and I sit and have writing dates on a regular basis and I have one more writing class for the spring. There is energy and resolve. Thanks for asking.

    1. deemallon

      Hey MaryAnn — thanks so much! Not an original concept, of course, but a good one to live by, I think. I’m gonna join that knitting class of yours one of these days!!!

  1. Michelle in NYC

    Not so sure that ‘owning your own s..t’ is what I had in mind with yesterdays comment but if it works for you…then it works for you. I don’t think of my fears as s..t either, just troublesome habits, and I have so little compared to the responsibilities you’ve shouldered and continue to manage that it’s easy for me to let go of most everything but the physical accumulation in the space I occupy…and that, mainly due to the fact that it’s too physically difficult with my bum shoulder, three flours up and without the aid of any helper, for me to dismantle, drag and discard. I stay neat and that’s the best I can manage for now. If it ends up that strangers have a heavy cleanup when I’m gone, well, so be it, and with my blessings may the find the many valuable treasures and profit! I read Gurdjieff so long ago I’ve almost no memory of him (except for the music which I recall not liking)–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurdjieff_Foundation—–but, whatever works for you. If your creations give you relief, that’s just fine. Relief is worhwhile. I get it from being able to nap at will, and from the sittings at the Zendo these days.

    1. deemallon

      I meant more the second part : “letting the rest go” being about surrender. I can’t even imagine what it might be for the troublesome aspects of my life to be my habits, which these days are mere footnotes. Well not quite but still.

      I wish you had a helper! There are definite psychological corollaries of release associated with letting go of “stuff”. But I admire that you have made peace with your limitations and live from a place of acceptance. I know your space is very small but it’s clear from your blog that the city is your playground and that you find lots of beauty, humanity, stimulation, art and community within it.


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