Tomorrow we leave for several days in New York and a couple more in Fort Worth. New York, to catch up with the museums and galleries, where there are a number of shows we have wanted to see. We'll also be seeing "The Book of Mormon," about which we heard great things a couple of years ago, when it first opened. In Fort Worth, I'm attending the annual convention of the National Art Education Association, and will be presenting a "One Hour/One Painting" session at the Kimbell--one of the countries truly great museums--where we'll be sitting with a magnificent painting by Georges de la Tour.
As always, the week prior to our trip has involved preparation in both practical matters and the mind. The practical matters get taken care of with the familiar errands and chores; choosing the right luggage for the occasion, making sure I have the proper supplies of travel-sized toothpaste, shampoos and so... But the mind is a different matter. I find it a wrench, these days, to leave my comfortable environment and head out into the unknown, so I watch strange and unwelcome things that happen there and do my (never quite good enough!) best to maintain the equanimity. I get restless, snappy, inattentive. I make clumsy mistakes in the most ordinary of activities; just yesterday, the plastic cereal container slipped from my hands and shattered against the kitchen floor. That kind of thing.
Clumsiness is one thing. It just requires a readjustment, a bit of clean-up, a fresh start. Snappiness is something else, because its effects are felt by others--and they can be hurtful. Trouble is, it's also the hardest to--I won't say "control"--but to be watchful for and, if possible, catch before it happens rather than afterwards. And when it happens, it's often accompanied by a fit of self-righteousness and denial or, worse, blame, attributing it to the recipient rather than the perpetrator. And afterwards, with the realization, there's shame...
You will also notice that I have been somewhat neglectful of The Buddha Diaries this week. Having posted my doubts about continuing the blog last week, I would not be surprised if you had concluded that the decision had been made. Far from it. Here I am, writing a new entry. I am not predicting whether or not it will morph, as it usually does, into a travel log on the coming trip, but I will have my ultra thin laptop with me just in case the spirit moves. We'll see. I hope you might check in once in a while to find out for yourself.
In the meantime, I'll sign off today, as I often do, with metta for all; especially for those, today, whose spoke is so stubbornly in the wheels of good government. May we all find true happiness in our lives.