Monday, June 9, 2014

"Monday, Monday…"

Those of a certain age and younger musical nostalgia buffs will recognize this Mamas & Papas' title and know its first line, "Monday, Monday, so good to me."

Well, not exactly.

The Little Jeep That Could, shown at left, sent me a message on its dash during my short interstate commute this morning, "Check Gauges."

I always do what my little truck – the back seat has been removed – says.

Gauge to cockpit, temperature rapidly rising. Memo to self: there is slow radiator leak that apparently rested in winter and is now back in bloom and you'd better make that Shell station before it blows.

And so I did, and await news of whether or not this situation calls for a new radiator. Let's speak this next sentence in a hush so that TLJTC can't hear. Is it finally time, after nearly 18 years and 60,000 miles together, to pull the plug and pass it on to one of its several eager young admirers?

Certainly not; it has an important role to play as the getaway vehicle in a September wedding. And, after all, this is a small thing in this world. Lots of worse stuff could happen on a Monday morning.

How did I get such a remarkably mature, if fleeting, attitude in the face of utter calamity?


Glad you asked.

There used to be a shop on the high street – aptly named Purchase Street – in the town where I work and do most of my living these days. In its window was a sign quoting a Buddhist saying, "Every day is a good day."

Pretty close I'd say. The more technically correct way to say that, especially in the Zen tradition, would be, "Every day is a day." The difference being that it is only our limited and busy human egos with their questionable "organic" judgment systems that label days good or bad.

Remember that pretty lame saying, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." The Zen tradition took sentimental pap like that a couple of thousand years ago and simply said, "This is a day." Not
exactly the Romans "Carpe Diem," not seize every day, just live the day.

Easier said than done, of course, but the little book shown here helps get you in the right frame of mind, so that when you get a "Check Gauges" today – sorry insufficient funds, this is not covered under your policy, do you remember your password? – you'll be better prepared.

Over the last 20 years or so, I've used a number of guides to teach me how to sit. They all contain a message that could be reduced to, "Don't just do something, sit there," which sounds like pablum or malarkey to some, which is okay, they're probably out there right now Carpe-ing their Diem. Good for them.

But, if you want another approach, Nhat Han Hanh's little book can't hurt. I bought mine at McNally Jackson in Soho. And, since Amazon is currently busy stomping on our friends at Hachette and bullying all writers by extension, you might want to get it directly from:


"Monday, Monday, it's here to stay."

And, one way or another, so is  the Little Jeep That Could.

Update on the sit-uation: As it turns out that will be with a new radiator.

Where's that chair!

1 comment:

Martin said...

Glad to see you back! MJJ