The Contemplative Life
There is a small dark thing in the bathtub this morning. I noticed it out of the corner of my eye as I was in there otherwise engaged. I think: "Damn. There's a bug in the bathtub."
I prepare myself to kill it. I'm not exactly a Buddhist or anything, but I do hate killing things, even bugs. Still, I hate bugs hanging around, um, well, bugging me. So I gather a small wad of toilet paper in my hand and prepare to squish the thing.
Upon approach, I discover the bug is one of those small, mothy things. Not a fly. Not an ugly crawly thing. Just a little mothy thing. I throw the wad of toilet paper away. It seems I am prepared to live with little mothy things.
This has to be an issue of brain-wiring. I think I have hidden in my brain something like those books of ship and aircraft silhouettes, prepared for the purpose of distinguishing friend from foe. Silhouettes of little mothy things: okay. Silhouettes of ugly little crawly things: kill the son-of-a-bitch.
I am now trying to decide whether I should rescue the little mothy thing from the bathtub before I take my shower. If I don't, it will surely perish in the deluge. If I do, what the hell am I supposed to do with it? Find a nice wall for it? With luck, my cat will find it soon and eat it. I guess I don't mind all that much having the thing killed, so long as I am not the one who has to do the killing.
Um. I get the feeling that with a little bit of effort, I could turn this post into some sort of parable, or analogy, or metaphor. I'm sure there is some sort of simple but profound moral lesson to be found in all this, if only I could get the thing organized. But it's Friday morning, the weekend is nearly here, and as I write this, my morning schedule is falling apart.
Sometimes you have to go for the literary value of the moment. Sometimes you have to get showered for work. And sometimes the cat eats the little mothy thing before you can get to it.
Today I will live my life as if the cat has eaten the mothy thing.
Amen. So be it.