In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Ten Today: Buddha and the French

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July 18, 2016
I doubt I have ten minutes uninterrupted, but I’ll give it a shot. I’m at my other other other job tonight. This one teaches me to love. I practice my little Buddha steps here, learning to appreciate every mundane, automatic movement with mindfulness, paying attention. In fact, if I don’t pay attention, let my mind wander as it is wont to do when nothing in particular stimulates it, I make money or cleaning mistakes, ones that make me feel like an incapable incompetent. After all, I’ve been at the job for years now (Obviously my self-judgment needs some work).
 
So this one teaches me patience and presence. The other one, writing, teaches me a different kind of little Buddha practice–patience and detaching from struggle. That one challenges me too much. I wrote all day on a subject that didn’t particularly interest me–under deadline. Tonight, after the store closes at 10, and I get home just before 11, I will return to the work. It isn’t quite right and it’s due no later than Monday. That’s today. I figure before midnight is still Monday.
 
A new client testing my skills to evaluate hiring me, I do indeed want to impress. Right now, my draft is not impressive. To my credit, I have faked my way into the door–partially. The job description called for fluency in French. Though I have been around French speakers for the last 35 years, coming and going, and I took a couple years in college, even wrote and orally presented a fairly competent 20 minute lesson on Montaigne in grad school, I’m not sure fluent and French should both be used in the same sentence to describe me.
 
However, with the help of my somewhat strong reading skills, a tip here and there from the Frenchman in the house and Google, I patched together a rather inexpert but passable draft of an article discussing the meaning and origin of 5 French sayings or proverbs or adages or aphorisms. I used all those words and more to keep it less mind-numbing.
 
What I will come home to is a stuffy draft that I needed to leave anyhow, though the impulse to go home and finish it is way stronger than my need to practice Buddhist patience and presence here at yogurt zombie Monday. I need to make it personable, friendly and fun. Oy, that should pull on every iota of craft I can muster.
 
Well, only one customer intruded on my ten. Good sign. Maybe the piece will magically gel tonight before my eyes turn to lidded gravel.

 

Image: Architectureofbuddhism.com

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