A Lamp Undisturbed

The end of my lease for this apartment is approaching at the end of October, so I’ve been weighing options for where I’ll be living on November 1st. My new job is considerably further from where I am now than my previous job (a four minute walk compared with a half-hour bus ride); I’d like to find a place closer to where I work. I’d also like spend a bit less on rent if possible, knowing inflation will make my finances tighter. Apartment hunting, however, doesn’t appeal to me at all and the risk of not finding a fitting place is daunting. So, if any of you have advice for making this painless, I’d welcome it.

My life has been moving at an even keel of late. Work has been taking up a good deal of my time, as has reading and tea drinking. I’ve been going through more tea each night than I’ve ever been in the habit of before. Chai has enchanted me entirely, but tonight I’ll be going with a green tea. I’ve collected several boxes that I want to finish off before getting any new tea, but I have quite a list of suggestions to try when I do.

I’ve been easing into some weight training. At the hotel there’s a fitness center and I’ve used it each night for a short while, trying to get my body used to the routine. When the hotel opens I’d like to do some weight work after each shift. I’ve never done exercise of that sort, focusing instead on cardiovascular fitness. With my improved diet and meditation practices, I figure it’s about time to move into a more holistic approach to my health and include focused strengthening.
I’m also looking into taking up a martial art similar to T’ai Chi Ch’uan, assuming my schedule and financial state permit it. I appreciate the combination of mental and physical discipline embodied in some martial arts, and because I’m a pacifist, the emphasis on kind-heartedness in traditional T’ai Chi Ch’uan is appealing.

“I would rather maim than kill
Hurt than maim
Intimidate than hurt
Avoid than intimidate.”

This poem, attributed to a Shaolin temple, shows a pragmatic pacifism that should have a strong marriage with a soft martial art. The meditational and health focuses of T’ai Chi Ch’uan have the greatest appeal to me, obviously, but having an increased capacity for self-defence would be nice as well.

I tend to wear mostly black. It suits me well and people have come to associate that with me. When I discovered a t-shirt for sale with the words “My Other Shirt Is Also Black,” I knew this was something perfect for me. I’ll likely be ordering one soon, if only to have the marvelous inside joke at hand.

As most people have, I’ve kept up on developments with hurricane Katrina. I was relieved it wasn’t as disasterous as anticipated (at work we speculated New Orleans would lose far more levees, for instance), but still am deeply moved by the suffering it has caused. Events such as this bring my attention increasingly to the universal suffering that we don’t become directly aware of as we do such devastating natural disasters that can’t escape media obsession. As I strive to cultivate compassion, I find this understanding of the oscillating between apathy and compassion to be troubling, both in myself and the world at large. How can we not feel the deep wish to end the suffering of war vicitms in Iraq, AIDS patients in Botswana, those displaced by natural disasters in Asia and America, the homeless families in our own cities and the countless others suffering greatly across the globe, even when we don’t hear of them on the evening news or other media?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: