THE WHY OF THINGS

The winds are blowing at 60 mph outside. Aussie is dangling the yellow elastic strap that Bernie used for his exercises in front of Harry, inviting him to a pulling contest. They’re a little like two kids stuck indoors wondering what to do with their time.

I don’t worry about that.

One reason I like making commitments is that it makes life very easy. For instance, on April 3-7 I will lead a Zen retreat in Switzerland. I hear that there are still a few places open, so if you’re interested in more information, please look here: https://www.peacemaker.ch/angebot/. Why am I going to teach in Switzerland? Because I made the commitment a while ago.

Tomorrow night I will go to the zendo. Why? Because I teach there–made that commitment 15 years ago—so when it’s Tuesday night I show up.

Earlier this morning I walked the dogs in very hefty winds. Why? Because I walk them, or have them walked, daily.

I don’t spend much time wondering what’s next, how do I live, or how should I spend my days. Commitments make all that unnecessary. That’s especially valuable when your brain has turned into oatmeal as you’re busy dismantling the physical evidence of a married life. Clothes gone, bed gone, bureau gone, office gone.

Beside, I have lost all interest in exploring the why of things.

“Not knowing is a no-brainer,” I once said to Bernie. He was taking something out of the refrigerator and not only smiled, there was a flash of something on his face. I laughed and said, “Don’t you wish you said that?” and he said, “Yes!”

Most of the things I do now are no-brainers. They have rational reasons, but the reasons occupy a different planet. Cleaning the bathroom so that my friend, Tim, can move in today, walking the dogs, calling about the malfunctioning coffee machine or Bernie’s medical insurance or social security, all present themselves as things to be done. Don’t ask why, don’t wonder if this is the best thing to do in the best of all worlds.

The why of things has disappeared.

My office, moved to Bernie’s old office downstairs and right now consisting mostly of boxes and piles of books and files, is chaos.

Chaos is where I feel at home.