And then, Friday night, George the dog came in with mud up to his ankles--spreading it generously around the house and on the carpets and the bed before we noticed--and we discovered the source in a marsh down by the clean-out valve where the sewer leads to the street. Emergency calls Friday night, the plumber's visit on Saturday. The snake. A temporary fix--at vast expense. And an injunction to call the city in on Monday morning. The city people have just been and gone. They promise to "camera" the drains later in week.
And then... the election. It's the last weekend of this seemingly endless campaign. Ellie and I both losing sleep over the outcome. If we were better Buddhists, we would of course be less attached to the outcome. But we are attached. As for many others, I suspect, it obsesses our thoughts and feelings. Yesterday, I sat with George outside our local Trader Joe's--he's not allowed inside because he has four legs and a tail, not to mention a fur coat, so Ellie had gone in to take care of the shopping alone--and watched the people parking their cars and walking in and out of the store. I found myself absurdly trying to determine who would be voting for Obama, who for McCain. A Mercedes... did that mean McCain? T-Shirt and jeans... Obama? A beard... A fancy hair-do... An expensive dress?
And I realized, of course, the futility of the exercise. It has nothing to do with any of these things. I realized that there's no way in the world to distinguish from the outside what ideas and intentions any human being might be carrying in his mind. Or hers. The hard part in all this, for me, is to avoid projecting ill-intentions or stupidity upon those with whom I disagree. There is ill-intention and stupidity, surely, on both sides--and still I tend to think there is more on one side than the other!
These matters arose yesterday at sangha. What a pleasure it was, after several weeks of absence, to be back sitting with our regular group of friends, the relish an hour of pure silence and an hour of conversation with people who really do think, and really do examine their own thoughts and attitudes. Among many interesting questions we addressed was this one: how might our practice help us, Wednesday morning, should things not turn out as we all hope?
I'm going to leave that one unanswered this morning. The contractor has just arrived. I have discovered another problem with the exterior electrical, and need to attend to that. There are calls to make. There are more boxes to unpack. There are exterior paint colors to choose, electrical fixtures to pick out. There are books to be replaced on library shelves, pictures to be rehung...
And one day to go... More later.