30 October 2008

empty is the tao

My enviro-mentors from the Strezleckis came for lunch today. (The enviro-mentors who I planted a walnut grove with, who henceforth have looked upon me beamingly as their little green disciple. They who shall now be known as 'Gifted With Asparagus & Artichokes' for their bestowal of two shopping bags heaving with the season's best from their garden. I will be weeing green before the week is out!)


So after emptying several glasses of champagne - ten days til I clink the desk shackles back on & damned if I'm going to let the opportunity for daytime carousing pass - I told Gifted about my plans re work. He replied with a parable from the Tao Te Ching. Something about a cup of water being valuable, a cup of wine being even more valuable, and a cup of diamonds being more valuable still. But what trumps them all, he said, is the empty cup, which can be filled with anything.

Me: ......................

Hopefully I looked very zen. And not at all like someone experiencing mild panic over a recent and fairly life-altering decision after being ambushed with the Tao. And DEFINITELY not like someone wondering if the empty cup could be filled with champagne and that was why it was the most valuable.

No. I think the little parable turned something in me. When I was a desk hound, no one would've recited the Tao in response to something I said. Never. Nor would they have brought champagne and home-grown asparagus for lunch. I think it’s an achievement that I’ve trotted on my idealistic high horse back to reality. But it's still a way from the saddle to the 40-hour grey-walled commute-consume pantomime which I've philosophically divorced. For a long time before I left work, I felt like I didn't make sense in that world anymore. It's not just a different drummer thing. I feel like I'm on tour with the whole freakin' band.

Hrrrmmmmppph. Empty cup. Empty cup. Empty cup.

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