I am indebted to Laurel Scheaf who inspired this conversation and
She's been one of my all-time favorite people for literally
And along with Jack Rafferty, Gonneke Spits, and Rick Aikman, she was
one of the earliest bastions of
even before that. We've laughed at the same things together. We've
loved the same things together. We've cried about the same things
together. Even more extraordinarily, she's one of the very, very few
people I've known who's able to wield the "My way, or the highway" club
in such a way that I've come to realize even on face value it'll
to something worthwhile which I don't yet see, and so I've dropped all
to it (I call that
... with a capital tee).
Beyond my erstwhile perfunctory protest ie beyond my erstwhile
automatic perfunctory protest, her wielding the "My way,
or the highway" club is never
or domineering. Rather it's always pointing at something that works
which, because it's in my blind-spot, isn't yet obvious to me. At first
to her or anyone's "My way, or the highway" got in the way. I simply
let anyone dominate me like that! But given her
impeccable track-record, in time I got to see the accuracy with which
she wielded the "My way, or the highway" club cut to the chase a lot,
lot faster than my own sulky truculence ever could.
In time I
to it and subsequently became grateful for it, becoming enamored with
instead - not to mention being profoundly supported by it.
And so it was one day that I eagerly looked forward to our
scheduled conversation after she'd been away and unavailable for some
time. I called her at our agreed-on time. She answered, and after the
usual joyful greetings between old friends who haven't seen or spoken
with each other in a while, I ante'd up with "So, what are you up to
these days now that you're back?" and she (pausing at first)
slowly said "Oh ... you know, the things people
do ...", a melodic lilt in her tone.
Wait! I was stunned into silence by the subtle profundity of it. "...
the things people do ...". Really? And right there,
holding my phone to my ear with my left hand, a new
pure transformed Zen
suddenly opened up and jumped out at me. The things people do? "Isn't
that ... well ... everything?" I muttered quietly to
no one in particular. Doesn't that cover the entire spectrum of
Is there anything else? Even more pointedly, is there
anything else for us to do?
No, there isn't. That's all there is for us to do: the
things people do. Exactly that. There's nothing else. It takes holding
and being a certain way to live like that. And what's extraordinary
about her is she does live like that all the time
24 / 7 / 365.
been around her,
it's been her modus operandi to do ... you know ... just
"the things people do", her
of which and our witnessing of which gives all of us access to our own
doing the things people do.
In this regard, her
can be seen in the way she wields the "my way, or the highway" club so
that rather than shutting down the space and killing off possibility,
it unerringly opens it up and makes something newly available, and in
the process grants total being ie teases out
pure transformed Zen.
And listen (tell the truth now): who, knowingly or unknowingly, doesn't
want that? It's what everyone wants.
Try this: sit for a moment with Q): My way, or the highway?
A): It's no contest when what she makes available
via the former, is total being,
pure transformed Zen.