Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Shoemakers Mind

“While you are continuing this practice, week after week, year after year, your experience will become deeper and deeper, and your experience will cover everything you do in your everyday life. The most important thing is to forget all gain
ing ideas, all dualistic ideas. In other words, just practice zazen in a certain posture. Do not think about anything. Just remain on your cushion without expecting anything. Then eventually you will resume your own true nature. That is to say, your own true nature resumes itself.” 
― Shunryu SuzukiZen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

The audience for this piece is anyone who is interested in meditation and exhibiting mindfulness in their everyday life. Suzuki uses repeating words to not only emphasize the words themselves but also to show that it is a journey with no inherent end point. He also makes use of periodic sentences, epistrophe, and Antimetabole.

 

Imitation

To make shoes is an art form, one that takes practice and patience.  On one hand, your mind tells you to make the shoes as fast as possible because you have a deadline to meet.  On the other hand, your creative self wants to explore, and be in the moment with every stitch. Do not think too hard. You must let your mind work with your movements, not let your movements work against your mind.  As you already know, a shoemaker must have precision.  To attain this, a mindful practice is absolutely necessary to make a shoe worth wearing.  Yes, you could make a hundred shoes a minute in a machine, but this is not a mindful shoe. This shoe was not crafted day after day, month after month, for it was not given the love that only a mindful shoemaker can give. Your craft is what defines you, the art is what defines you.  That is to say, your shoes are nothing if rushed, just as in life. So, I beg you, take off your watch, face the clocks down, unplug your lamps, open your windows. Let the natural light be your guide and listen to what your heart tells you.  This is how you live not something you do. I promise you, your shoes will sell themselves.

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Uncle Frank

Dan Morgan

The Worst Way to Go

There was this time in Houston once when I did something that’s been hanging around in my mind over the years, tucked down inside of me like a lucky charm that I don’t want to lose, and ever now and then I take it out and admire it a little when I need something to fall back on that makes me feel like I’m not so much a loser as I sure seem to be. I used to think about it from time to time, but in the past couple of years it’s come back to me lots more since I don’t seem to have too many things to be all that proud of these days.

     Back when I was working nights at the downtown bus station for a while sweeping floors and scrubbing out toilets and pinching gum off the bottom of seats and picking up other people’s trash and having lunch at the counter where they had good meatloaf and a waitress named Holly that I tried to screw but never got to, one night when I just got off work something happened

 

This Piece is written in middle style.  The author is talking directly to the reader and therefore eliminates the footing as much as possible.  This puts the reader on the same level as the author.  The author uses long sentences that could possibly be considered run on which gives the feel that he is just basically thinking.

Imitation

I’ve had a dream that’s been playing in my mind for the past several years.  I don’t know what this dream means, or where it came from, but it seems ever so familiar every time it replays itself, almost like the dream never started or ended, it just is.  For a while I was worried, I got nervous that this was going to be some kind of self fulfilled prophecy. The weird part is that I don’t even know what the dream is about.  When I’m in it, everything seems clear and I know what’s going on, but like many dreams, the moment you wake up you forget what it’s about, but you also forget the feeling you had during the dream. Not this dream though.  I forget what it’s about but the feeling is still there. The feeling never goes away. The feeling is not so good.  I, have not been feeling good lately. 

            It started when I was a seemingly, innocent, carefree boy about 6 years old.  My mom took me to the beach everyday during the summer. We had a beach house, and man I tell, you it was the best beach house ever, I mean we had an outdoor shower, five different bikes all equipped with bananas seats, four boogie boards, 7 different sized sand scoopers, three cabinets worth of microwavable popcorn and enough VHS movies to build an emergency shelter.  My cousin would always come two weeks after me because he got out of school later. Aside from both of our mom’s and our grandmother or Nana as we also called her, our uncle Frank would join us after he got his break from work.  We all had a blast together.  From the beach, to the boardwalk, i-max theater, the Humongous theme park, and lots of seafood, we literally never got board. We all loved each other very much, although uncle Frank always said that I was his favorite. I never understood this, since I did not really see him that much and my cousin knew him a lot better than I did.  However, one night my parents wanted to go out to dinner and my cousin went along.  I wanted to stay home and watch movies.  That night I found out why I was uncle Frank’s favorite.