Work has been keeping me busy and tired, of late. Hence the lack of blog entries over the last month. Last week was particularly stressful. In the middle of it all I reached the limit of what I could assimilate, accommodate, accept - whatever it was, my mental in-tray was full to overflowing. What seemed to be getting me down was frustration and anger at situations I couldn't improve and ideas or projects I couldn't progress. On two evenings I left work feeling a incendury like fury that i dont ever remember experiencing with my work before. If my aspirations are blocked I slip, all to easily, into the unloving arms of despondency. This week, though busy, has been a bit steadier in pace, without the erratic and unexpected intensities which characterised its predecessor. I think I have passed some sort of watershed with regards to my new post. At first I was just learning the ropes, then I was finding out how to manage the team without anyone more experienced to help. Now its becoming clearer what direction I want to take the team in, and what I need to do first to get it moving forward in a positive direction. None of this is going to happen overnight.
Though its over three months since my car accident, I still find my neck and shoulders stiffening up in cold dank weather, much more frequently than in previous winters. Some of it has been exacerbated by further falls and collisions affecting my shoulders and neck, and bad posture when I'm at a computer at work or at home, because the screens were too low. I've now corrected the latter in both situations and things are gradually improving,with a little help from my acupuncturist with his 'rice spoon' massage.
What with recent weekend visits to the aged P's and a general pre- Christmas flurry of expenditure and weary passivity, not much writing is getting done. The new piece I'm working on 'Firewood & Ash' is proving slow in development, so, with what limited time I have available, progress has been snail like. Generally I'm pleased with what's coming out, it is perhaps a more intricate piece of writing than 'Binding one's Self without a rope' with a less obvious line of development. As ever it is pushing my understanding of Dogen to it's limits. I'm also doing study with Paco on the whole Genjo Koan, from which this extract on 'Firewood and Ash' comes. This has become equally stretching, but also satisfying. This week we took the unusual step of going to a local café ( CB2) and doing study upstairs, whilst we supped drinks at a table. I was unsure how this would go; I anticipated that it would be too public a place, our conversations would either be too prominent or be drowned in a surfeit of piped music and other peoples chit- chat. It turned out to be neither of those things. We had a very penetrating discussion exploring the intricate and paradox filled relationship between delusion and realisation, which I couldn't possibly summarise.