This Zen koan is what Day 31 is all about. Like most Zen koans, or seemingly illogical questions (What is the sound of one hand clapping?) and answers given to students by Zen masters, this one may require some explaining.
Or not. When I was looking for links to explain this concept I came across a production company called Chop Wood, Carry Water. “Just do the work, Grasshopper” is how they explained it.
I might have written about that early on, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until today. Today, Day 31 of the 500 Words a Day for 31 Days Challenge, I can say that nothing has changed and everything has changed.
In the spirit of Chop Wood, Carry Water my new mantra shall be, “Write Words, Carry On.”
Who knew doing something I’ve been doing my whole life would suddenly define the rest of my life? We all know I wouldn’t have done it without you.
So, before I go any further, let me express my heartfelt gratitude to every single one of you who read even one blog post. For those of you who read all of them, I give you my first born. Oh right, I don’t have children. A Himalayan salt lamp would surely be a fitting token of my appreciation.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done something that feels this important or necessary to my introverted self. My extroverted self is out there every day, advising students and choosing counter tops, introducing Visiting Artists, and alternately dispensing tension tackling tips and inciting minor meltdowns.
Yesterday I was asked to be on our local radio station to talk about upcoming programs at CCC. This is fun and good as long as I don’t allow myself to go off topic. While there may be a mute button on the microphone, it doesn’t work once you’ve already said something regrettable.
After those 15 minutes of fame, or infamy as the case may be, I had to return to the mother ship to attend several meetings. By the end of the day I wanted nothing more than to shut up. But to quit talking on Day 30 was inconceivable.
I sat down at my computer and starting moving my fingers in a familiar pattern. The clickety-clacketity of the keyboard cajoled me into a conversation about the things I really wanted to say.
Most conversations stick to predictable topics like the weather or would we like fries with that or other harmless repartee. But every now and then someone will walk into our lives and start talking directly to our souls. That’s scary stuff, if you’re not expecting it.
Personally I am on the lookout for these kinds of conversations whenever and wherever I can find them because that connection with another is what I live for. If there are really funny stories mixed in, I’m completely beside myself with joy and utterly incapacitated.
Let me know one spectacular thing about you and I promise not to forget and will probably out you as the super star you are in this blog. Bob already has more followers than I do and he hasn’t written a word. My friend Barbi has yet to be mentioned but because last night she left me leopard tissues and a burlap pouch with a bird in it to hang on my door and remind me of spring, she gets a special shout out.
The plan from here on out is to post two or three times a week. The exact days are yet to be determined but I’m thinking Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The other days I will be writing, just not for an audience. I’ll keep you posted on A Penny for Your Thoughts and give you sneak peeks into other projects.
The fun has just begun. So Bob and I are off to celebrate. Unless he and his followers have already got the party started.
I’ll leave you with my mantra…. Write Words, Carry On!
Or if you are a runner…
Run on! … even if it snows…. at the Brrrry Scurrrrry tomorrow at CCC at noon.
My friend Ann and her crew do a fantastic job!!