the simple minded suburbanite


The Empty Cup
January 3, 2010, 8:50 pm
Filed under: authenticity, suburb, suburbanite, volntary simplicity | Tags: , ,

Through the holiday season, several posts have come to mind, but I haven’t sat down to blog.  One draft “This Aint the St. Regis, Baby” began a comparison of Christmas between my home, and pink-and-green lady whose family has moved to the St. Regis while massive home renovations are being done.  Her son pushed from unknown “nannies” to tutors, to after school programs while she sends “the help” out for chocolate granache cake while she attends the perfect Pilates class which conveniently begins about the time her little boy (only child) returns “home” (a.k.a room 822) from school.  Certainly their Christmas consisted of fine china and silver tea pots in a large mahogany dining room under an anonymous St. Regis Christmas tree. 

Another thought came when our neighbor’s five-year-old informed us over hot chocolate and paint-by-numbers that Santa had brought him a lake house for Christmas.  How the hell did Santa fit that down the chimney?!

And I could have kept going with these and sprung off into a rant about, despite their very right winged fears that Obama would send them into an abyss of financial ruin, good ol’ Barack as well as the fat man up north seems to have treated both families pretty well financially this year.  No tremors from the rest of America’s collective holding of breath seems to have rattled their beveled glass front doors.

But all of these entries never made it to page.  I guess I was busy.  And, really, looking back, I think I felt I was being a little petty and sour.  Afterall, I don’t want the entire blog to be about bashing good ol’ pink-and-green, though I might turn her into a book one day.  Really, the blog is about voluntary simplicity, authenticity, and presence in the midst of the craziness of the suburbs. Don’t worry though, I’ll keep the hits comin’ but today I’m feeling a little reflective, albeit a slight bit melancholy, as I often do this time of year.

Today I heard a story.

A professor was visiting a Zen master.  They sat over tea.  The professor spoke on and on about the principles and applications of Zen.  The master began to pour the professor some tea.  He poured and poured until the caramel colored tea flowed over the edge of the tea-cup onto the saucer and onto the table.  Only when the professor noticed the moving pool of tea heading toward the edge of the table did he jump up, grab for a napkin, and shout, “Stop pouring!  Stop pouring! The is room for no more!”

“Just like you,” the Zen master said. “You are so full, you leave no room for anything else.  Empty your cup and leave yourself open to whatever comes.”

And this is where I’d like to start my new year.  With an  empty cup.  An open heart.  A chalice for thought.  An oracle for love and feelings that come into me as well as through me.  As practical as a cleaned out closet.  As transcendental as a keen ear while I walk through the woods.  As rhythmic as the pace of my day.

The same storyteller said that in our busy day, we don’t find time for the things that are meaningful but somehow find time for the petty, the draining, the chipping away.

Keep my cup empty so I can fill it with wonder and precious moments and creative endeavors that fill me and my family to brimming.

Happy, abundant 2010!

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