Okay, painters in the kitchen. Do not set the alarm. Do not set the alarm, I repeat to myself as I leave, finally. I watched myself close the door. I watched myself push in the code, followed by the little beep beep beep. I opened the wine bar door, picked up my bicycle, backed it out onto the steps down to the sidewalk as the door shut. Then, about to lock the deadbolt, uh oh. Shit. So, I scramble, open the other door, punch in the one code I know. I'm inside now. Will it work? And then, no. Very loudly, no. (Never to try to rob a place. The alarm noise is such that you can't even think.) But, somehow it doesn't seem to effect the painters, viewed through the porthole window on the kitchen door. Or they are such stoics that the noise, through the closed door doesn't seem to bother them. I try to figure out the keypad alarm system, but can't find my reading glasses, blasted by the horns, so eventually, I lock the door and step outside. I wait around for a while. A policeman goes by hurriedly on a motorcycle, to the Safeway. The noise stops. I check my phone, and pedal away, pulse racing, guilt following me. What if the cops come and think the painters are robbers? No, it's pretty obvious they are painting the kitchen ceiling. Long night. Kitchen closed three hours before I'm finally done. A quick run to the Safeway for groceries, rice, quinoa. Back to restaurant, groceries into courier bag, get ready for ride home. Boss's wife stays late with my regular customers, electric violin from the live jazz in my ears, no wonder the distraction, the mind gone into auto mode. The jumble, as I ride, distractedly, home, stopping in the park to see if any remnants of the meteor shower are still in the eastern sky. Too much light pollution anyway.
I come home, amped still. I vacuum the living room rug, the television on, something about Rembrandt compared with a Chinese Buddhist nature painter with the black brush sketches. But there is backsliding going on, and despite lighting candles, and some incense, I know there is an open bottle of Ventoux in the fridge, and though I've been dry all night, home, I do not resist the urge. "Just don't bring any home, next time," I tell myself. Thus, no temptation. Live simply. But, yes, there is backsliding, even though I find where I was in the YouTube "Dalai Lama -- How To Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life." I'm no longer bent on getting the electric razor out and shaving my head, Buddhist style, like I was a few days ago. Hair, a problem, it would be better to not have to deal with it really. Typical, no follow through, just another one of those phases in an unserious life.
Stupid intellectual, should have never gone slumming for such a job, I might have mumbled to myself as I do the dishes. Finally go to bed.
Today, the third anniversary of my father's funeral.
My head's a jumble, subtly pained, too much, the night before. The depressive aftereffect of a melatonin tablet, a glass and a half of wine, on top of the seeming lack of direction, the need to show up to work tonight? I don't seem to know what to do today. How to find some calm before going off to wine tasting… Where did I leave off yesterday in my calm clear understanding about how we all are in dharma reality, and that it might be construed that we act accordingly on a deeper instinct. Somehow we find our way in the dharma, naturally, on instinct, like a bee does its work in the hive. And this is to resist the outer pressure to conform, to do all the things we're supposed to do as citizens and people, sons and daughters.
The problem of society is the impugnment of motives. Motives, motives, everywhere. And the motive of some people is little more than finding a way in the dharma, finding a place, way to teach, however they can. This, of course, requires an awakening, to be conscious of this primary quality of mind. And this awakening is not encouraged much here. It's hard enough to come o an understanding of it, given favorable conditions. Yes, the greater motives of the world are confusing and weighty. Everyone seems to think, you need motives to get you through, don't you, anyway… Don't have any? You must be a fool, with no ambition.
But there is that place of learning, that ability to be open and ready for a lesson, wherever it might come from. And that's how we treat a student, with the benefit of such respect.
There is also the condition that a student might one day mature, grow into being a teacher, having awoken to a logic, a coherent philosophy. And with the dharma, perhaps it depends on how you fit into it, as either an example or a teacher, through an understanding of it or through a choice of ignorance for it.