On day 4 of “shelter in place”, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and flowers and leaves are rumbling and tumbling forth.

A friend points out this is not social distancing.  It’s physical distancing and social solidarity.  I like it!

Today, our neighbor hangs a fresh homemade sourdough mini loaf on our fence. 

Another friend suggests I read the book, Death: The End of Self-Improvement by Joan Tolifson.  Intrigued by the title, I open to the first page, words on the practice of meditation by Zoketsu Norman Fischer.

“Practice is not about overcoming human problems. It’s not about becoming serene and transcendent.”  (Oh, well, that was my hope.)

It’s about embracing our lives as they really are, and understanding at every point how deep and profound and gorgeous everything is – even the suffering, even the difficulty. So we forgive ourselves for our limitations, and we forgive this world for its pain. We don’t say, “That’s not pain.”  It is pain.  You don’t say, “It’s not difficulty.” It is difficult. But when we embrace the difficulty … we see this is exactly the difficulty we need, and this difficulty is the most beautiful and poignant thing in this world.”

I pause knowing he wrote these words before this difficulty we are now in, and yet, I understand, of course, yes.

Rumi speaks on the next page of the book.

Don’t grieve.

Anything you lose comes round

in another form …. 

God’s joy moves from unmarked box

to unmarked box, from cell to cell.

As rainwater, down into flower bed.

As roses, up from ground.

Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,

now a cliff covered with vines,

now a horse being saddled.

It hides within these, till one day

it cracks them open.

Buddha Cat

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