So, still doing this blogging thing.

It's been 926 days now that I've been doing it, 2 years, 6 months, and 12 days.  Over this time, a lot has changed, in my life, and in even how I blog.  I've:

  • Blogged every day
  • Changed where I live (twice)
  • Blogged only when I felt like it
  • Changed my day job (twice)
  • Numbered every entry meticulously
  • Gained friendships
  • Stopped numbering altogether
  • Lost friendships
  • Skipped over days at my leisure.
  • Regained friendships
  • Caught up in waves.
  • Experienced death and loss
  • Added special titles that get used as twitter hashtags.
  • Starting dating new partners
  • Also linked to Google+
  • Deepened and strengthened my existing relationships
  • Stopped posting to Google+

Along the way, I've discovered a bunch of things.  WWFM, What Works For Me™ is a moving target.  It changes, just like I change.

One thing that I've had my eye on lately isn't just that I blog, but why.  I blog for me, as well as for you.

Yes, specifically you, the person reading this.

I'm a strong believer that we're all each other's student, and all each other's teacher, too.  It's not that I have special insight or answers to give anyone.  I don't think it even works like that.  Rather, as I'm going about my daily practices of mindful living, study, meditation, and contemplation and stumble over my own questions, I think that maybe, possibly, there's value in sharing that stuff with those who want to hear about it.

And if you're reading this, then that's you, my friend.

"All right, fine," you say, "but what's up with the passive aggressive title on this post then?"

Well, it's kind of a pun.

That character over there, that's te, pronounced kind of like "duh", and it's the chinese word for "virtue."  

Not virtue like pulling drowning kittens out of a freezing river by hand, on an arctic ice floe somewhere.  (Which begs the questions how the kittens got there, what you're doing there, and why not just look for kittens in a no-kill shelter, like a sensible person.)

Rather the virtue I'm talking about is more like the virtues of getting a good night's sleep, or regularly masturbating (especially in front of someone you love.)

There's te in a lot of things.  One of the biggest things there's virtue in is letting go of judgement, and just well, living.

There's a verse of the Tao te Ching that speaks to this handily.


When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't possess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

Now before I even get into this, and why it's on my mind, I can already hear a potential objection.  "Wait a sec, Mako.  If you're no guru, have no special insight, why the heck are you teaching me a thing? Or telling me how to go about doing this living thing properly?"  

I'm not.  I don't have answers for you.  I'm just sharing my own exploration of questions I stumble across.  If you do what I do, and it works for you, that's lovely.  If you don't do what I do, that's lovely, too.  If you shut down the browser, throw away your bookmark for my page, and go out for pizza with anchovies on it, that's just fine with me too.  (Even though anchovies are revolting.)  

I'm just sharing.  You're free to not partake.  It's all good.

Having said that, this verse has been on my mind for days, weeks even, because of something I've been hearing going around, something I've even bought into and participated in myself, sometimes.

It's that whole "2016 sucks, and is out to get people, look at who it has killed now" thing.

I'm actively working hard to not do it anymore.  Never mind that 2016 is now over, because actually, there is no over.  This is where the shutting up part comes in.

The truth is, the fact that it's January 1st, 2017 is, at best, sort of an illusion.  The only place is here, the only time is now.  We live in the eternal present.  There's never any time you're not here, and it's not now.  Go on, name one for me.  I'll wait.

Actually, I won't.  Because you can't.  Every second of every minute of every day you're alive, you're in motion, towards (yay?) your eventual death.

Stuff happens.  People are born.  They die.  We celebrate.  We grieve.  We laugh.  We cry.

Over and over.  

Until we don't.

The thing in this particular entry from the Tao te Ching that really stuck with me is this part:

Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.

All sorts of things arise.  David Bowie dies.  Trump gets elected president.  Malaria gets utterly eradicated in Sri Lanka.  US unemployment hits 4.6 percent, the lowest it's been in nine years.  I lose a very important friendship.  I regain and even strengthen that friendship.

What I see is this - pointing to some external thing, time, entity and bemoaning the tragedy is a toxic form of expectation.  By the same token, getting upset that other people do this is similarly, a toxic form of expectation.

People are people.  We're gonna do what we're gonna do.  Me, I'm not interested in being less mindful, and lamenting that things or people should be other than what they are.  

And the truth is, death's still coming for me, you, and everyone else.  Shitty things and good things are on the rise for each of us, because everything is always moving anyhow.

If you want to shake your fist at the heavens over that, you certainly don't need anyone's blessing to go right ahead.

But as for me, I'm doing my best not to do that.

When?  Right now.

AuthorMako Allen