Monday, August 3, 2009

Just don't break the glass

A recent post on Zen Habits talked about seeing the glass as already broken. I have a hard time with this, because to me it promotes abandoning responsibility. I immediately envision it as license to hurl glasses willy-nilly, even the really nice glasses that we brought home from Venice. Sure, I know it's a metaphor—and I know that at some point they will very likely shatter, but there's no need to hasten the process.

Yeah, that's me.

The same post explains the same concept as viewing everything as an adventure. Accept the fact that you don't know the answer, that you'll take the wrong train, or the train won't come on time, or that it will stop in the middle of nowhere (or France) and you'll need to get on a bus.

This, I can get behind. And if I needed a reminder, I accidentally gave myself one last week.

Before leaving for Lummi Island, I carefully packed the books I wanted to read and my writing notebooks. Also, my gym/walking shoes, my hairbrush, and my phone charger.

After driving for a couple of hours, having lunch, taking a ferry, and settling in, I realized that I never brought that bag! No books, no notebooks, and none of that other stuff! On the one hand, this is a reading and writing vacation for me. On the other hand, I immediately recognized an opportunity for adventure. (And I'm sure I owe part of that optimistic attitude to Zen Habits, all broken glass aside.)

I found a new notebook at the local store, and I spent the weekend reading old Copper Canyon catalogs and finding some amazing and helpful work in them—partly because I had so much time to immerse myself in them.

It was a fabulous weekend. It was an adventure. I didn't break any glasses. And I wrote and wrote and wrote.

3 comments:

Kells said...

I understand what he means by 'the glass is broken," I read the story about all moments with a thing or a person are precious, but what I think is "all glasses are different."

Some drip water, some don't, some have a crack, some don't, some are pretty, some aren't, but they are all useful--even the broken ones.

We shouldn't assume that something or someone is going to break, but if it does, then we find the beauty, positive, usefulness in that.

Good post, Joannie. I'm right with you.

Martha Silano said...

Love the serendipity of forgetting your book bag, Joanie. I had a similar thing happen recently. Not as drastic, but could only bring a few books and one small notebook (which filled up in two days). Thanks to not lugging all my books and old journals w me, I have been reading interviews and poems at poets.org. What a resource! Hope your stay on Lummi was productive, relaxing, and enjoyable.

Joannie said...

Kells, I love the idea that all the glasses are different. Thanks for that reminder.

Martha, Lummi was lovely--and on my next trip, I brought the books and barely cracked them, but found three Katrina Roberts volumes at the Cloud & Leaf bookstore.